Neuroscience and Society Film

Helping connect neuroscientists with stakeholders and the general public

How we made it

There’s a cool cast of characters in this film: neuroscientists, bioethicists, and curious people from all walks of life. When you watch, it feels like they’re all spontaneously interacting with each other’s ideas, and they are. But the truth is, these people have never actually talked to each other or even been in the same room at the same time. So, you may be wondering, how’d we pull that off?

First, we put a call out on social media with this question:  If you could help design an experiment for a neuroscientist to conduct, what would it be? What would you think we should try and learn about the human brain? As you can imagine, we got some intriguing responses. So, we followed up with several of these folks and recorded each of them answering a series of prompts.

Then we collaged together what they had to say, and it was time to reach out to our neuroscientists and ethicists. We played the recorded collages for them, and we recorded their reactions in real-time. That’s why you can hear them laughing and going ooh, and ahh, and hmm.

Once we cut all the audio together, we animated it with the premise that science & ethics experts were sitting together watching a filmstrip of everyday folks with big ideas. For me (as the guy who produced the sound stuff), this step is really when the whole piece came together like magic. Our animator, Michael Warren, sent us several drafts of the visuals, and each one was better than the last.

This project was a lot of fun (and hard work) to put together, and I hope the result is an engaging combination of deep substance, playful format, and innovative storytelling. That’s what we aim for here at iDeas Lab.

Learn more about the Berman Institute’s Neuroscience & Society Project

Neuroscience & Society
Connecting neuroscientists with stakeholders and the general public