Beckman-Brown Lecture on Interdisciplinary Science

Beckman-Brown Lecture on Interdisciplinary Science

Sharing interdisciplinary science

The Annual Beckman-Brown Lecture on Interdisciplinary Science honors Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, the founder of the institute, and Dr. Theodore “Ted” Brown, the founding director. The series is funded by a gift from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

Emery Brown

October 2023 lecture: Dr. Emery Brown

Dr. Emery N. Brown will gave this year's lecture, "General Anesthesia, Neuromodulation and Altered States of Arousal." See a recording below.

Brown is the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at MIT; the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School; and an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Recordings of Beckman-Brown lectures

  • "General Anesthesia, Neuromodulation & Altered States of Arousal" - Dr. Emery Brown (Beckman-Brown)

  • "From Seeing to Doing: Understanding & Interacting with the Real World" - Fei-Fei Li (Beckman-Brown)

  • "Blueprint: Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society" by Nicholas Christakis (Beckman-Brown Lecture)

  • "Cognitive Reserve: An Evolving Concept" by Yaakov Stern (Beckman-Brown Lecture)

Previous Beckman-Brown Lectures


"From Seeing to Doing: Understanding and Interacting with the Real World," Fei-Fei Li, the Sequoia Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and Denning Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (Oct. 6, 2022).


"Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society," Nicholas A. Christakis, the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University (Oct. 6, 2021).


Unfortunately, the 2020 lecture was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


"Cognitive Reserve: An Evolving Concept," Yaakov Stern, professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University (Oct. 3, 2019)


"Predictions: Understanding Global Warming," Dr. Michael Mann, director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (Oct. 15, 2018)


"Surface Glycans as Cellular IDs," Dr. Laura Kiessling, Department of Chemistry, MIT (Nov. 3, 2017)


"Enzymes by Evolution: Expanding the Scope of Biocatalysis," Dr. Frances Arnold, Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry and director of the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at California Institute of Technology (Sept. 19, 2016)