The Bushnell Hosts Connecticut Forum on ‘The Science of Our Minds’

Trinity College Neuroscience Students Help Select Questions for Panelists

Hartford, Connecticut, March 14, 2016 — Students, staff, and faculty members from Trinity College were among the 2,800 attendees at the third Connecticut Forum of this academic year. The sold-out event, titled “The Science of Our Minds,” was held Saturday, March 5, at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Hartford.

​The Bushnell hosted The Connecticut Forum event 'The Science of Our Minds' on March 5. Photo by Nick Caito, courtesy of The Connecticut Forum.
This year, Trinity is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Neuroscience Program, which aligned perfectly with the theme of the evening. Alex Suarez ’16 and Sasha DiNitto ’17, both neuroscience majors at Trinity, had the opportunity to go backstage during intermission to help select questions that the panelists would answer during the Q&A portion of the forum.

The onstage discussion featured three renowned panelists who engaged in open and insightful conversations about the groundbreaking developments in neuroscience and psychology. The panelists were: Susan Cain, co-founder of the Quiet Revolution LLC and author of the New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking; Lisa Genova, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside the O’Briens; and Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, who recently collaborated with Pixar on the film Inside Out. John Dankosky, vice president of news for CPBN and host of WNPR’s “Where We Live,” moderated the event.

The forum focused on exploring “why we are the way we are,” drawing on the expertise of the panelists. Cain, Genova, and Keltner tackled thought-provoking topics such as autism, stress, mindfulness, aging, emotions, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

​Alex Suarez ’16 and Sasha DiNitto ’17, both neuroscience majors at Trinity, went backstage to help select questions for the panelists. Photo by Nick Caito, courtesy of The Connecticut Forum.
The second half of the Connecticut Forum centered on questions submitted by the audience during intermission. A select group of attendees including Suarez and DiNitto chose the questions for consideration. The panelists addressed questions such as, “How does technology impact our brain?” “What are the best things we can do to protect and heal our brains?” and “What advice would you give to a teenager interested in going into the field of neuroscience or psychology?”

Connecticut Forum events are live, unscripted conversations among renowned experts and celebrities. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to encourage the free and active exchange of ideas in forums that inform, challenge, entertain, inspire, and build bridges between all people and organizations in the community. Trinity College is among the Forum’s Education Partners, which support open dialogue and lifelong learning. 

The fourth and final Connecticut Forum event of the 2015-2016 season is:

May 13, 2016: Creative Artists: An Evening of Storytellers, Creators, and Entertainers

For more information on the Connecticut Forum, visit the Connecticut Forum website.

Written by Elizabeth Goetz ’16