Vanessa Bohns

Vanessa Bohns is a social psychologist and professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University. She studies help-seeking, social influence, compliance, consent, and why saying no is so hard. Her research has been published in top academic journals in psychology, management, and law. Her research and writing have been featured in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The AtlanticHarvard Business Review, and on NPR’s Hidden Brain.

Caleb Scharf

Caleb Scharf is an astrobiologist and writer of critically acclaimed popular science books and hundreds of articles. His research ranges from studies of the origins of life to the climate conditions of exoplanets and the quest to find evidence of other life in our solar system on worlds like Mars. He is the Senior Scientist for Astrobiology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, and divides his time between Silicon Valley and New York.

Rebecca Schwarzlose

Rebecca Schwarzlose is an instructor of psychiatry at Washington University in Saint Louis. She uses brain scans to study how early sensory processing shapes human brain development and relates to later neurodevelopmental and psychiatric challenges. She is the former Editor in Chief of Trends in Cognitive Sciences. When not pondering the developing brain, she loves solving puzzles and spending time with her family.

Philip Goff

Philip Goff is a professor of philosophy at Durham University, UK. His research focuses on consciousness and the ultimate nature of reality. He’s best known for defending panpsychism, the view that consciousness pervades the universe and is a fundamental feature of it. Philip has published many academic articles and written extensively for newspapers and magazines, including Scientific AmericanThe Guardian, and Aeon. He used to sing in a band and likes to play and sing Beatles songs with an acoustic.

Boston Dance Theater

Boston Dance Theater (BDT) is a contemporary dance repertory company presenting works of socio-political relevance that challenge the edges of current world issues. BDT matches Boston-based dancers with acclaimed global choreographers in a tour de force of performative dynamism, community connection, and transnational ambassadorship. BDT has performed at Jacob’s Pillow, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Ailey Citigroup Theater in NYC, and the Newport Dance Festival in Rhode Island.

Visuals: Pamela Hersch
Music: Grant Stinnett

Emily Balcetis

Emily Balcetis is an associate professor of psychology at New York University. Her research explores motivational biases in visual and social perception and the consequential effects on behavior and navigation of the social world. She’s the author of over seventy scientific publications, and her work has been featured in Forbes, Newsweek, Time, Scientific American, and The Atlantic. Emily has lectured at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and the University of Chicago. She lives in New York City with her husband and their children.

James Danckert

James Danckert is a professor of psychology at the University of Waterloo. He is an expert on the psychology of boredom and the neuroscience of attention. Boredom makes us feel restless and agitated, but what if we listened to boredom instead of banishing it? His groundbreaking research into adaptive approaches to boredom can help us avoid its troubling effects and lead us to live fuller lives. He lives in Waterloo, Canada, with his wife and two sons, and enjoys playing his electric guitar.

Ann-Sophie Barwich

Ann-Sophie Barwich is an assistant professor of history and philosophy of science and cognitive science at Indiana University Bloomington. She studies neuroscience and perception while researching a deceptively simple question: Have you ever wondered how you smell? She has been a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience at The Center for Science & Society, Columbia University. Ann is also fascinated by the history of magic in understanding the effects that conjuring tricks play on our minds.

Martin Picard

Martin Picard is an associate professor of behavioral medicine in psychiatry and neurology at Columbia University. His groundbreaking lab investigates mechanisms of brain-body communication, focusing on how mitochondria influence cognition, stress resilience, and aging. He is building an integrative model of human health that can help transform how we teach and practice medicine.​ Beyond his passion for mitochondria, Martin enjoys electric cars, renewable energy, and spending time in nature with his family.


Selkii is a live-looping singer and songwriter from South Africa with a passion for bringing joy to people through music. She has been a contestant on NBC’s The Voice, and her looping pedal skills bring guitar percussion with rich sonic layers of vocals and riffs into her live arrangements. Her love for nature, connection, travel, and life’s simple pleasures comes through her thoughtful lyrics. Selkii loves sharing the stories behind her songs and hopes to heal and enrich people’s souls with a beautiful message.