ICE organizes and promotes public dialogues in cities around the United States. Facilitated by Dartmouth theoretical physicist and ICE Director Marcelo Gleiser, these evening dialogues focus on fundamental questions central to ICE’s mission. The presenters—scientists, humanists, and spiritual leaders—are scholars and intellectual leaders of the highest caliber, capable of providing intellectual depth, breadth, and openness. The dialogues will be live-streamed to the world when possible, then made available on our website. 

Follow-up workshops offer members of the public the opportunity to directly engage in a more in-depth fashion with some of the topics addressed in the dialogue. These workshops are held the day after each dialogue, with participants selected through an application process. In most cases, the workshops involve the dialogue speakers and are moderated by ICE Director Marcelo Gleiser.


Recent Public Dialogue

Thursday, October 12, 2017
8 pm, 92nd Street Y
New York City
Q&A, 9:30 pm (separate pre-registration required)

The Nature of Faith: A Conversation on Science and Religion with Rebecca Goldstein and Alan Lightman

Even though we live in a world where science and technology dictate more and more how we live our lives, religious belief remains widespread in this and most countries. Why do so many people believe? Is there a difference between faith and belief? Can science contribute to this conversation? Or are science and religion fundamentally incompatible, belonging to two non-overlapping magisteria, as the late Stephen Jay Gould liked to say? Is there room for spirituality in science? Join world-renowned physicist and writer Marcelo Gleiser and his two distinguished guests, MacArthur Fellow and National Humanities Medalist, philosopher, and novelist Rebecca Goldstein and astrophysicist and acclaimed novelist Alan Lightman, for an evening where science, religion, the arts and philosophy will jointly address some of our deepest questions.

Past Public Dialogues

Jill Tarter (L) and Patricia Churchland

Jill Tarter (L) and Patricia Churchland

Thursday, May 11, 2017
6:30 pm CST
Venue SIX10, Chicago
Chicago Ideas Week Curiosity Series

Future of Intelligence: Human, Machine and Extraterrestrial: A Dialogue Between an Astronomer and a Philosopher

Advances in technology have fundamentally changed the way that humans consume information. Whether it’s the ability to seamlessly connect with people on the other side of the world or the never-ending flow of content through social media, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the future of humanity and the future of intelligence are one and the same. At this onstage program presented by ICE, Jill Tarter of SETI, a research institute dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and Patricia Churchland, an analytical philosopher of the mind, join ICE director and physicist Marcelo Gleiser for a thought-provoking conversation on what extraterrestrial intelligence might look like, the implications of a transhumanist society, and humankind’s greater quest to understand the universe.

Thursday, February 9, 2017
7:30 pm PST, Nourse Theater
San Francisco
City Arts & Lectures

The Nature of Reality: A Dialogue Between a Buddhist Scholar and a Theoretical Physicist

Alan Wallace, a world-renowned author and Buddhist scholar trained by the Dalai Lama, and Sean Carroll, a world-renowned theoretical physicist and best-selling author, discuss the nature of reality from spiritual and scientific viewpoints. Their dialogue is mediated by theoretical physicist and author Marcelo Gleiser, director of Dartmouth’s Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement.



Thursday, October 6, 2016
8 pm, 92nd Street Y
(Lexington Avenue at 92nd St)
New York City

The Mystery of Consciousness: A Dialogue Between a Neuroscientist and a Philosopher

Featuring neuroscientist Antonio Damasio and philosopher David Chalmers, and moderated by physicist Marcelo Gleiser, this was the first of a series of public dialogues on fundamental issues in the sciences and the humanities co-hosted by 92Y and the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth. The event explored what we know and don’t know about human consciousness, and whether science will ever be able to understand what makes you, you.

For participant bios, click here