As most high school teachers are painfully aware, it’s pretty hard to get people interested in subjects involving higher thought. The general public has an uncanny tendency to pay more attention to what is entertaining and trendy in the moment than serious conflicts around the world or which politician is representing them in office—and don’t even try to mention science. All those tedious hours spent in uncomfortable desks listening to some teacher drone on and on about equations and cells enter one ear and are thrown out the other by the eternally cynical question: “When am I ever going to use this?” Because in the end, what is fun will always triumph over what is important if what is important is deemed boring.
In reality, the processes responsible for shaping our Earth and the life inhabiting it are endlessly fascinating and beautiful to a fault. All science needs is the right publicist, and that’s where Dr. Michio Kaku comes in. Kaku is a world renowned physicist and co-founder of string field theory, a branch of string theory, which aims to describe all fundamental forces in the universe. He is a well-known popularizer of science who has written many books and appeared on a variety of television programs in the name of promoting scientific knowledge and discoveries to a broad, mainstream audience. Like Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Kaku uses our addiction to technology as a medium to promote a subject once limited to libraries and classrooms.
Thanks to University of California, Santa Barbara’s Arts & Lectures, Kaku is making a stop at the Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara on Jan. 28 to promote his new book, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind. The book delves into theoretical ideas about how technology could alter and enhance our minds in the future. Telepathy and telekinesis, ideas usually reserved for science fiction and superhero comics, are discussed as an actual scientific possibility. He writes about computers with the ability to download our consciousness, interpreting our human experience as a series of neural signals. Even more exciting, potentially invasive, and futuristic possibilities are mentioned in the book, aiming to enthrall the laymen and challenge the ambitious scientist to fulfill his innovative prophecies.
Kaku will likely also discuss topics from his other recent books, which focused heavily on physics, space travel, and robotics. All of these ideas are revolutionary and incredibly cool, so if you want to have your mind blown and learn a little about science in the process, Dr. Michio Kaku’s lecture is exactly what you’re looking for. Tickets can be found at https://artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu; they are $15 for UCSB students and $25-40 for the general public.