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 after each dialogue, and in most cases will involve the dialogue speakers and be moderated by ICE Director Marcelo Gleiser.


Recent Public Dialogues


Monday, April 22, 2019: 2:30pm – 6:30pm
Tuesday, April 23, 2019: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH

The Blind Spot: Experience, Science, and the Search for “Truth”

A workshop with philosophers, physicists, and cognitive scientists

What is “truth”? Can it be objectively defined? To what extent are scientific statements “true”? Is the truth in the physical sciences different than in pure mathematics? This workshop brings together an international group of philosophers, physicists, and cognitive neuroscientists to discuss the nature of truth in science and its relation to our experience of the world. If we cannot detach experience from our description of the world, to what extent is science objective? Does experience influence and limit our scientific narrative of Nature? Join us for what promises to be a fascinating discussion on the foundations of science and its relation to philosophy
This event, moderated by ICE Director Marcelo Gleiser, is free and open to the public.


Michel Bitbol, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Adam Frank, University of Rochester
Chris Fuchs, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Jenann Ismael, Columbia University
Peter Lewis, Dartmouth College
Michela Massimi, University of Edinburgh
Robert Sharf, University of California, Berkeley
Mark Sprevak, University of Edinburgh
Evan Thompson, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Peter Tse, Dartmouth College


Past Public Dialogues

Learn More

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
7:00-8:30 pm EST
Museum of Science, Cahners Theater
Boston, MA

Doubling Down: Preserving Our Humanity in the Digital Age

Are the big digital technology companies actually modifying our behavior? Will that be the means to a beneficial end? We are inside a global-scale experiment in data gathering about human behavior. We have devices on us all the time. The devices give us real-time feedback about our actions and provide that information to companies that are vying for our attention. Is this model of our society sustainable? Is it contributing to the demise of democracy occurring before our very eyes?

Join Jaron Lanier, the “father of VR,” and bestselling author Sue Halpern, in conversation with Marcelo Gleiser, physicist and director of the Institute for Cross Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth College, to talk about doubling down on being human, a step that just might rescue our world—and ourselves.


Thursday, November 1, 2018
4:30-6:30 pm EST
Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall, Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire


Special Guest Artists: The Passing Project music and dance

On Being Human: Mythic and Scientific Perspectives

What does it mean “to be human”? Are we special in any way? If, so, how? Join ICE at Dartmouth director Marcelo Gleiser in a fascinating conversation with three very special guests: ICE at Dartmouth Fellow, physicist, and novelist Tasneem Husain will present humans as storytelling animals; Dartmouth anthropology professor Jeremy DeSilva will place humans within evolutionary history; and ICE at Dartmouth Fellow and planetary scientist David Grinspoon will discuss humans from the perspective of life elsewhere in the universe.
☞ Q&A
to follow


Thursday, October 4, 2018
8 pm EST
92nd Street Y
New York City

On Immortality: Siddhartha Mukherjee and Elizabeth Kolbert with Marcelo Gleiser

We live in an age when geneticists are working to advance our life span and improve our quality of life—but are we also inadvertently engineering the sixth mass extinction in the Earth’s history?

Join physician and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies) and fellow Pulitzer winner Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction) for a fascinating dialogue on life and mortality, from the human to the planetary scale, moderated by Dartmouth theoretical physicist and ICE Director Marcelo Gleiser. Will living longer lives redefine what it means to be human? How much will it matter if our planet itself is in peril?


Wednesday, March 28, 2018
7 pm EST
Museum of Science, Cahners Theater
Reception to follow

Cyborgs, Futurists & Transhumanism: A Conversation

We’ve all heard of Terminator, Blade Runner, and other science fiction about cyborgs. But how far is reality from fiction? Can scientists transform humans into machine-like creatures, stronger, smarter and, who knows, even immortal? Join us for a unique conversation about our transhumanist future with neuroscientist Ed Boyden, leader of the Synthetic Neurobiology Group and associate professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and McGovern Institute for Brain Research; humanist Mark O’Connell, journalist and author of To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death; and physicist Marcelo Gleiser, director of the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth College.


Thursday, February 8, 2018
7 pm MST
Marston Theater, Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

The Mystery of Time

What is time? Can science alone provide an answer? In 1922, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson, the world’s leading scientist and philosopher at the time, met for a face-to-face conversation about the nature of time. Einstein argued that the only time is the physicist’s time, while Bergson call him to question. There are other dimensions to time, he argued, beyond the scientific one. Where do we stand on this conversation today? Have we made progress in unveiling time’s mystery? Join award-winning physicist Paul Davies, director of ASU’s Beyond Center and author of the book About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution, and award-winning historian and philosopher of science Jimena Canales, author of The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time, for a conversation mediated by physicist Marcelo Gleiser that promises to illuminate, intrigue, and inspire.

Watch the Video

Thursday, October 12, 2017
8 pm, 92nd Street Y
New York City
Q&A, 9:30 pm

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.

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