Synapses: Speed Networking for Artists and Scientists

To participate in Synapses you must hold a Festival pass in addition to registering for this event.

Organiser: Leonard Chan

Subtle Technologies is the place where art and science meet.
Synapses is a place for artists and scientists to meet.

Like speed dating, but without the overt romantic overtones, Synapses gives artists and scientists and opportunity to sit down and talk about their work, their interests, and their whatever else they can cram into seven minutes of face time. When the bell rings, you move to the next table until you’ve met everyone in the room. Afterwards, there will be a mixer for people to continue their conversations and hopefully develop new connections, new ideas*, and with any luck, new friends.

In 1964, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were cleaning “white dielectric substance” (science talk for pigeon poop) off a supersensitive horn antenna. They were looking for radio waves bounced off satellites but there was a constant noise that stymied their efforts.
They were flummoxed for a year until a chance meeting with a fellow astronomer named Bernie Burke, who had just seen a manuscript written by a physicist named Jim Peebles who was being supervised by Robert Dicke, offered an alternate hypothesis for their noise.
They realized that the “noise problem” they were having wasn’t the result of pigeon droppings, but was, in fact, the radiation signature of the Big Bang. They were listening to the beginning of everything. For this momentous discovery, Penzias and Wilson were awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics and none of it would have happened had Arnie Penzias not run into Bernie Burke.


Behold the power of connections.

* Nobel Prize not guaranteed