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Pune’s ‘Science On Tap’ is having a spirited run

HOW CAN we understand different types of intelligence and the difference between intelligence and consciousness? In the near future AI machines will become more intelligent than us but will they ever have something close to human sentience? Why despite many impairments in our senses by disease or ageing, our perceived world remains complete as a whole. Is the evolution of human consciousness the worst thing to happen to planet Earth?

Explore these questions at the 32nd edition of Pune’s Science on Tap on December 17. Started as a science outreach initiative by Anoop Mahajan, a climate scientist, it brings the best scientists of India in contact with the public in an informal environment that includes a glass of beer.

In every new session, a scientist brings to life their area of work for an audience mostly of working professionals. The previous sessions have been varied like magic of mushrooms by Siddharth Anand, who is working to perfect mushroom cultivation through his start-up in Pune. The session discussed different applications of mushrooms in the fields of food and nutrition, medicines and nutraceuticals, and mental health therapeutics. It also displayed a counter where the audience could touch and feel different mushrooms and have take-home kits to cultivate.

Science outreach initiative by Anoop Mahajan brings the best scientists of India in contact with the public in an informal environment that includes a glass of beer. (Express Photo)

Representation Matters: women’s presence vs power was addressed by Alyssa Heinze, a Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellow based in Pune. It tried to answer questions like when does women’s presence in important positions translate into women’s power? What are effective strategies to ensure that women’s presence, does, in fact, lead to their power — and not just their puppetry?

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