The Science of Consciousness Conference Series — TSC 2017 SAN DIEGO

April 28, 2017

The Science of Consciousness (TSC) is the world’s largest and longest-running interdisciplinary conference on all aspects of the nature of conscious experience, awareness, feelings and existence. Questions include how the brain produces consciousness, whether consciousness is intrinsic to the universe, or an epiphenomenal illusion, how consciousness can causally affect brain processes, what are the best empirical theories, do we have free will, how did life and consciousness originate and evolve, what are the origins of moral and aesthetic values, how can we improve mental, physical and cognitive function, and can consciousness persist after bodily death, e.g. through ‘uploading’ to machines, or via mental processes tied to the natural world? These and other relevant questions are approached through many disciplines in science, philosophy, culture and contemplative practices.

For example, many see the brain as a computer, with consciousness emerging from complex computation among brain neurons, or from as-yet-unknown circuits or features of biological matter and energy. This approach motivates ‘brain mapping’, artificial intelligence (‘AI’) and efforts to ‘upload’ human minds into conscious machines. On the other hand, some see consciousness as a fundamental property of the universe, akin to mass, spin or charge, rather than emerging from them. These approaches include panpsychism, dualism, idealism, Eastern philosophy, Whitehead, quantum physics and cosmology.

“TSC” began at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1994, and returns there in even-numbered years, alternating with TSC conferences around the globe (Italy, Denmark, Japan, Hungary, Hong Kong, Sweden, India, Czech Republic, Finland). The 2017 conference was scheduled in Shanghai, China, June 5-10*, but due to unforeseen circumstances is moving to San Diego, specifically The Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, near the UCSD campus. The TSC 2017 conference will consist of Plenary Sessions, Pre-Plenary Workshops, Evening Concurrent Talk and Poster sessions, Technology and Art Exhibits, Social Events, Entertainment and Satellite Excursions. The Plenary program is nearly complete (see below), and Concurrent sessions are also nearly filled.

—Event Producer