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Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014

8:30 AM9:30 AM Goergen Hall 101 (Sloan Auditorium)

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BME Seminar Series: Joseph Tranquillo, PhD

Radical Collaborations

Associate Professor, Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, Bucknell University


In his 1959 Rede Lecture, C.P. Snow characterized the entire intellectual body of western thinking as consisting of two broadly defined cultures – the culture of the sciences and the culture of the humanities. Snow went on to explain that the enormous divide between these two cultures was the primary cause of many of our most pressing problems. Furthermore, he blamed our education system as pitting these two important ways of thinking against one another. More than 50 years later, his lecture may be even more salient.

In this talk, I will discuss a number of radical collaborations that I have explored with my biomedical engineering students that attempt to bridge the divide between the two cultures. More specifically I will discuss:

  • The co-creation of biomusical instruments
  • A device that trains rats to detect landmines
  • An interactive theater production that explores autism
  • Building interactive clothing

Through these projects my engineering students have witness first-hand how their technical mindset can be interwoven with, and amplified by, the mindset and methods of the humanities. The talk will include insights on how to navigate a radical collaboration and will conclude with a challenge to the audience to seek out their own radical collaborations.