Bacon and Eggheads

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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.

Exploring a simulated brain: from human behaviour to drug effects


Chris Eliasmith, University of Waterloo

Large-scale brain models have become the centerpiece of many international "big science" projects. At the University of Waterloo, Chris Eliasmith and his team have created 'Spaun', the world's most comprehensive, functional brain model. The first to demonstrate realistic behaviours under biological constraints, Spaun can reproduce animal and even human behaviours. The team uses the model to understand normal brain function, neural disorders, the effects of drugs on behaviour, and to build smarter artificial agents.

Chris Eliasmith is Director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of Waterloo and holds a Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Neuroscience. He is a member of the inaugural cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. He has authored or coauthored two books, including 'How to build a brain' (Oxford, 2013), and more than 90 publications in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and engineering. His ground-breaking work was published in Science and has been featured by CNN, BBC, Der Spiegel, Popular Science, National Geographic and CBC among many other media outlets, and was awarded the NSERC Polanyi Prize for 2015.

Presentation will be in English.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE).
Supported by: CANARIE inc. and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

The Speaker of the Senate
The Speaker of the House of Commons

Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016, 7:30 am - 8:30 am (Hot breakfast is ready by 7am)
Location: Parliamentary Dining Room, Centre Block
Cost: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators and Media. All others $25. Payment must be made in advance by credit card. No refunds for cancellations after April 11, 2016

Registration Deadline: Monday April 11, 2016


Contact information: Donna Boag,, 613-991-6369