Ontario Science Centre unveils Great Conversations: The Mind Series

Three-part event examines therapeutic potential of psychedelics, mindfulness for better health and the brain's ability to adapt

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2020 - Do you understand the power of your mind? The Ontario Science Centre launches its 2020 speaker series on The Mind in collaboration with Knowledge Partner, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI). The series brings leading experts to share the latest research into the brain and how our minds work.

Rooted in psychology, the Science Centre's latest exhibition MindWorks brings mental processes like decision-making, memory and emotions to life through colourful, playful and fun hands-on exhibits. Great Conversations is a special featured event of the Ontario Science Centre, designed to spark discussion, debate and discovery on fascinating topics in the world of science.

"We are excited about our partnership with the Ontario Brain Institute. In addition to the contributions during the development of our newest exhibition MindWorks, OBI's collaboration with our speaker series will let us showcase emerging research on the mind and potential therapies," said Catherine Paisley, interim CEO of the Ontario Science Centre. "These thought-provoking talks are part of our mission to inspire passion for the human adventure of discovery, by engaging our community and promoting a love of lifelong learning."

"As a provincially-funded organization, one of our core objectives is to educate the public about their brain health," said Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, president and scientific director, Ontario Brain Institute. "Our partnership with the Ontario Science Centre allows us to make knowledge accessible, digestible and fun; enabling people to manage their own health and wellness and improving life quality."

The three-part series features 90-minute conversations moderated by Dan Riskin, an evolutionary biologist and former TV co-host of Daily Planet.

March 7 — Science Meets Psychedelics
Are there new avenues to treat disorders like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder? Discover the cutting-edge research findings by psychologists on why psychedelics have the power to heal the mind.

Norman Farb, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga
Anne Wagner, PhD, Clinical psychologist, Founder of Remedy and Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University

April 4 — Mindfulness for Better Brain Health
Mindfulness is growing in popularity, but does it work? What's the science behind it? Learn about two innovative projects, one for adults with autism and their caregivers and the other to reduce violence in our communities.

Yona Lunsky, PhD, Director of the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Sue Hutton, social worker and mindfulness instructor for CAMH
Julien Lutz, a.k.a. Director X, founder of Operation Prefrontal Cortex
Brianne Redquest, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at CAMH

May 2 — Neuroplasticity: The Adaptive Brain
The human brain has the amazing ability to adapt, create and change throughout one's life. That's neuroplasticity. Does everyone's brain engage in neuroplasticity? And are there any limits?

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, Director of the Arrowsmith Schools, educator, and author of The Woman Who Changed her Brain
Jennifer Crosbie, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Health Clinician Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children
Allison Sekuler, PhD, Vice President of research at Baycrest Health Sciences

All talks begin at 4 p.m. and last for 90 minutes. Free with general admission. No ticket required.
Recommended for ages 18 plus.

About the Ontario Science Centre

Guided by our mission to inspire passion for the human adventure of discovery, the Ontario Science Centre strives to be a global leader in lifelong learning; a vital link in Ontario's education and innovation ecosystems; and a convener of public dialogue about technology, science and society. The Centre has welcomed more than 53 million visitors since opening as a Centennial project in 1969, pioneering an interactive approach now adopted by science centres around the world. An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Centre relies on funding from the province, as well as donations from generous individuals, corporations and foundations that share the Centre's vision to contribute to a more curious, creative and resilient world. Learn more at OntarioScienceCentre.ca.

About the Ontario Brain Institute
The Ontario Brain Institute is a not-for-profit organization that accelerates discovery and innovation, benefiting both patients and the economy. Our collaborative 'team science' approach promotes brain research, commercialization and care by connecting researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to improve the lives of those living with brain disorders. Welcome to Brain Central. Visit www.braininstitute.ca for more information. Follow us on Twitter (@OntarioBrain). Funding provided, in part, by the Government of Ontario.