Theater of Thought (Werner Herzog, 2023) BILBAO

Cinema and Science Series

Invited Scientists
Aitzol García-Etxarri (DIPC, Ikerbasque), Rafael Yuste (Columbia University)
Bizkaia Aretoa UPV/EHU - Mitxelena Auditorium, Bilbao
DIPC, Basque Film Archive, San Sebastian International Film Festival
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Theater of Thought (Werner Herzog, 2023) BILBAO
Still from the film.

Through the lens of legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, Theater of Thought takes audiences on a provocative journey into the study of the mind and consciousness, daring us to question whether we truly have autonomy over our thoughts, or if our brains will inevitably become infused with mind-controlling technology in the not so distant future.

First Aitzol García Etxarri will give a brief presentation with the collaboration of Rafael Yuste and after the screening there will be a question and answer session.

(Version: English, Subtitles: Spanish, Presentation: Spanish)


About the speaker

Aitzol García Etxarri and Rafael Yuste.

Aitzol García Etxarri is an Ikerbasque researcher at the DIPC. Aitzol is a telecommunications engineer and holds a PhD in physical sciences. His doctoral thesis, supervised by Javier Aizpurua and Pedro Miguel Etxenike, was awarded with the extraordinary doctoral prize in 2010. Subsequently, he worked at Stanford University for 4 years as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2015, he returned to Donostia to form his own research group thanks to the Fellows Gipuzkoa grant from the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council. Currently, Aitzol leads the nano-photonics group of the DIPC, where 10 researchers study the interaction of light with objects at the nanoscale. These studies have led to the development of new optical technologies with applications in the fields of biomedicine and computing. Among other scientific adventures, Aitzol is currently co-leading the nanoneuro project, which aims to use nanoparticles to record and induce neuronal activity in living beings in a safe and non-invasive way. On the other hand, Aitzol is also a science communicator. He participates in informative talks and in various cycles. Aitzol was a contributor to the Baipasa program of Euskadi Irratia, and regularly participates in cultural publications such as JotDown magazine. He is co-founder of the movement "Harrotasuna zientzian". This year he has been named corresponding young member of Jakiunde.

Rafael Yuste is director of the NeuroTechnology Center at Columbia University and an advisor to the Neurorights Foundation. He led a small group of scientists that inspired the US BRAIN Initiative announced by President Barack Obama in 2013, and he helped create the International Brain Initiative (IBI) in 2017. He also led the Morningside Group, a global consortium of multidisciplinary experts advocating for the ethical use of neurotechnology and artificial intelligence. His most recent project is the NanoNeuro initiative, an international consortium led by DIPC and Columbia University, connecting nanoscience and neuroscience through the development of pioneering technologies. Yuste is a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine and Science, and he is a member of Aranzadi Zientzia Elkartea. He has been awarded by the Mayor's Office of New York, the American Society for Neuroscience, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Cajal Institute for his contribution to science. In 2018 he was one of the recipients of the Eliason Global Lidership Prize from the Tällberg Foundation, for his work in promoting neuro-rights, and in 2022 he received the Lauaxeta Saria award from the Bizkaia Foru Aldundia for his work in promoting the Basque language.