New York Thought: Smart Things to Do in NYC This Week

Fermi, Einstein, and the director of the Swarm Lab highlight our picks for the best smart things to do in NYC this week.

Monday, February 19

Enjoy a Modern Mondays exploration of the spirituality and music of Brazil. A screening and installations will be joined by an effort to build “an immersive, sensorial experience that evokes the trance state.” Museum of Modern Art.

Hear from author Adam Nicolson on the occasion of the publication of his new book, which delves into the hidden lives and epic travels of the worlds increasingly endangered seabirds. 192 Books.

Learn about the trailblazing women born into China’s one-child policy and their current struggles with Leftover in China author Roseann Lake. The Strand.

The next Secret Science Club swarms in: biologist and Director of the Swarm Lab Simon Garnier comes to The Bell House to talk about collective behavior and how networked robots could transform the world.

Tuesday, February 20

The first conversation in a new “Exile and Creativity Series” looks at the life of Enrico Fermi, who lived at the hinge of classical physics and quantum mechanics, and helped usher in the Atomic Age. David N. Schwartz, author of a new Fermi biography, will reveal the very human side of a genius in a conversation with William Allen Zajc, Professor of Physics at Columbia. Italian Cultural Institute.

Unbelievably, one in five Americans now uses psychiatric drugs. Lauren Slater, a patient herself, follows up on her Prozac Diary with BLUE DREAMS: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds. Find her in conversation on the people and science behind this massive industry and the author’s own costs and benefits in the world of anti-depressives. 92nd Street Y

Wednesday, February 21

Ambassador Ido Aharoni of NYU’s School of International Relations leads a Temple Emanu-El panel of IMAX filmmakers and an expert in neurobiology. They’ll tell the odd story of the posthumous adventures of Albert Einstein’s brain and illuminate the sources of a unique genius (there are many strange clues in the anatomy).

Question time itself with contemplative psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher Loch Kelly. He’ll be joined by Piet Hut, Professor of Astrophysics at Princeton and the President of YHouse. A meditation and a signing of Kelly’s Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness are included in the program. Rubin Museum of Art.

In conjunction with the spring release of Aperture magazine’s “Prison Nation,” which addresses the role of photography in the context of U.S. mass incarceration, catch a conversation between a documentary filmmaker and two insiders who documented Rikers in the ‘80s and ‘90.

Thursday, February 22

In the global financial meltdown of ’07-’08, finance was not exactly a force for good. Bertrand Badré, the former Managing Director of the World Bank, argues in his new book that finance used right can help us solve humanity’s urgent issues, from climate change to rebuilding infrastructure and addressing poverty. Find him in conversation in an Albertine evening introduced by François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations.

Question what you know about one of history’s most iconic women at this talk on the “real” Cleopatra. Prospect Heights Brainery.

Find our picks for the weekend here.

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