Our conferences in replay

How to make a group intelligent - Seminar of April 16, 2021

(Re)see the recording (restricted access to the IBPS)

Emile Servan-Schreiber, co-founder of Hypermind

Summary: How to be smarter together? This conference exposes in a playful and interactive way the main scientific principles of collective intelligence and the wisdom of crowds. The topics covered include: group IQ, the diversity theorem, collective forecasting, the limits of expertise, and active open-mindedness. It is embellished with concrete examples and “live” surveys with the audience.

Speaker: Emile Servan-Schreiber is a doctor in cognitive psychology (Carnegie Mellon, 1991) and author of the book “Supercollective: the new power of our intelligences” (Fayard, 2018). Since 2000, he has been managing the company Hypermind, which specializes in the large-scale exploitation of the collective intelligence of companies and organizations. As a researcher he has participated in several major US government surveys on the wisdom of crowds, and he is a founding member of the School of Collective Intelligence at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (Morocco). Before founding Hypermind, he was an engineer in artificial intelligence, advisor to the OECD on the neurosciences of learning, and author of the CD-ROM “Les Secrets de l’intelligence” (Ubisoft, 1997).

OBEPINE and COVID-19: an observatory that tests troubled waters to see more clearly - Seminar of February 12, 2021

Vincent Maréchal, Saint-Antoine Research Center, Sorbonne University

Abstract : The COVID-19 epidemic has underlined the importance of systems for anticipating and monitoring the epidemic, at different scales (building, city, region, country, etc.). These systems are particularly important for articulating an early, appropriate and possibly targeted response to the risk of epidemics.

SARS-CoV2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, replicates in the respiratory tract but also in the digestive tract. Its presence in the stool has been used to deploy a unique monitoring device in France. The Epidemiological Observatory in Wastewater (OBEPINE) - of which several Sorbonne University teams are co-founders - is an innovative sentinel network whose vocation, through an integrated multidisciplinary approach (Virology, hydrology, mathematics, etc.), is to assess the scientific and operational interest of wastewater analysis in understanding and controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. Deployed in 150 wastewater treatment plants thanks to exceptional support from the supervisory authorities and the MESRI (3.5 M euros), OBEPINE now provides regional trend curves on viral circulation. The network also aims to assess the health risk from humans to the environment and to assess the predictive nature of the viral load in wastewater.

Climate emergency and research activities: time of transition? - Seminar of October 18, 2019

Xavier Capet, LOCEAN/IPSL, Sorbonne University

Abstract: Climate change and more generally environmental damage pose unprecedented challenges to human societies. Citizen mobilization in favor of the fight against climate change has grown and many concrete initiatives have been launched. But France, like many other countries, has already fallen far behind on its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

After briefly presenting the climate situation in which we find ourselves, the intervention will focus on certain current reflections and actions in the (academic) research community, aimed at modifying our research practices in depth to respond to the climate emergency.


Chemistry in painting - Seminar of January 25, 2019

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Philippe Walter, Molecular and Structural Archeology Laboratory (LAMS), Sorbonne University - CNRS, Paris

Abstract: The use of spectroscopy and imaging instruments now allows an in-situ and non-invasive analysis of works of art, in museums and on archaeological sites. The data obtained refines our understanding of the technical processes involved in artistic creation.

Historically, painters have indeed had to take into account all the physico-chemical properties of the paints formulated to succeed in producing the artistic project they had in mind. The choices of binders, natural and synthetic pigments, technical innovations in their preparations and formulations, associated with the painter's skill in handling them, are key elements in the perception and conservation of works of art.

This conference will be an opportunity to show the approach and the results obtained during a recent field mission devoted to the study of Egyptian tomb paintings in the Valley of the Nobles in Luxor.

Bioethics, reconciling the freedom of the researcher and the freedom of the citizen - Seminar of December 7, 2018

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Hervé Chneiweiss, Neuroscience Paris-Seine, IBPS, Paris

Abstract: Ethics is often perceived as a constraint by researchers. How can such a burden be imposed on individuals and groups whose goal is the advancement of knowledge, and therefore the good of humanity? But before being normative, we talk about deontology, ethics is first of all an open reflection between two freedoms: that of research and that of the citizen. An articulation that is based on principles such as the autonomy of the person, beneficence/non-maleficence, justice. Between love and disenchantment, fear and wish, the ethics of life science research has become a necessity and a well-designed new freedom for the researcher.

Hervé Chneiweiss is director of the Neuroscience unit at IBPS, and chairman of the Inserm ethics committee.

Before the Big-Bang and beyond the Universe - June 15, 2018 seminar

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Aurélien Barrau, astrophysicist, LPSC (Grenoble)

Location: Amphi Durand, Esclangon building, Campus Jussieu

Summary: In this conference intended for non-specialists, Aurélien Barrau will recall the status of our current understanding of the Universe, and will open the reflection on two contemporary questions: the possibility of a "before the Big Bang", as it present in quantum gravity and the hypothesis of the existence of multiple Universes. Are these questions still scientific? How to test them?

About the speaker: Aurélien Barrau is a researcher at the Laboratory of Subatomic Physics and Cosmology (LPSC) in Grenoble, and a professor at the University of Grenoble-Alpes. His research focuses mainly on cosmology, quantum gravity, dark matter and cosmic radiation. He is actively involved in the dissemination and popularization of his field of research to the general public, as evidenced by the many videos and popular articles accessible from his personal site.

When artificial intelligence saves lives - Seminar of November 17, 2017

When artificial intelligence saves lives - (Re)watch the video

Gérard Dreyfus, Emeritus Professor at ESPCI Paris, France.

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently been the subject of media interest that seems inexhaustible. Political discourses see AI either as an economic panacea or a social horror, a miraculous spring in the economic machine or a ruthless destroyer of jobs. This conference will simply explain the principles of modern artificial intelligence ("machine learning" or "artificial learning") as well as its limitations. Several applications oriented towards personal assistance [...]

Seminar - October 10th, 2017

Arc protein: a flexible hub for synaptic plasticity and cognition - Watch the video

Clive BramhamUniversity of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Abstract: The adaptive capacity of the brain depends on synaptic plasticity – the ability of a synapse to change in strength in response to use or disuse. Plasticity in neural circuits shapes emotional responses, cognitive flexibility, and underlies memory formation. Aberrant synaptic plasticity impacts human cognition in brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, a major challenge in basic and clinical neuroscience is to elucidate the molecular control of synaptic plasticity. [...]

Seminar - October 6th, 2017

The impact of light and clocks on physiology and behavior - Watch the video

Kristin Tessmar, MPFL, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract: The work in my lab focuses on the impact of light on animal nervous systems, the mechanisms of endogenous clocks and their evolution. These different aspects are partially interconnected as light functions as a zeitgeber for these clocks. The marine bristle worm Platynereis dumerilii harbors a light-entrained circadian, as well as a monthly (circalunar) clock. In order to study the molecular and cellular nature of its circalunar clock, as well as its interaction with the circadian clock, we have established transient and stable transgenesis, inducible specific cell ablations, chemical inibitors, as well as TALEN-mediated genome engineering. [...]

Seminar - June 9th, 2017

Universal genetic code as a key for understanding RNA-protein interactions - Watch the video

Bojan Zagrovic, MPFL & University of Vienna, Austria.

Abstract: The relationship between mRNA and protein sequences as embodied in the universal genetic code is a cornerstone of modern-day molecular biology. In this presentation, I will provide evidence supporting a novel claim that the genetic code can actually be seen as a Rosetta stone for understanding mRNA-protein interactions in general. Conversely, I will defend a claim that RNA-protein interactions could have been an important driving force behind the origin of the genetic code. [...]

Seminar - March 3rd, 2017

Understanding cellular heterogeneity - Watch the video

Sarah TeichmannEMBL-EBI, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Abstract: From techniques such as microscopy and FACS analysis, we know that many cell populations harbour heterogeneity in morphology and protein expression. With the advent of high throughput single cell RNA-sequencing, we can now quantify transcriptomic cell-to-cell variation. I will discuss technical advances and biological insights into understanding cellular heterogeneity in T cells and ES cells using single cell RNA-sequencing. [...]

Seminar - February 3rd, 2017

Cancer cell of origin and tumor heterogeneity - Watch the video

Cédric BlanpainIRIBHM, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

Abstract: For the vast majority of cancers, the cell at the origin of tumor initiation is still unknown. We are using novel genetic approach to identify the cell lineage at the origin of the most frequent epithelial cancers in humans. [...]

Seminar - January 6th, 2017

LUCA, the universal tree of life, and the origin of eukaryotes - Watch the video

Patrick ForterrePasteur Institute, Paris.

Abstract: The nature of LUCA, the topology of the universal tree of life, and the origin of eukaryotes are controversial issues. Recently, several authors have published molecular phylogenetic analyses suggesting that eukaryotes correspond to an archaeal branch (so we are ourselves archaea) and that early branching archaea and bacteria were nano-sized organisms. [...]

Seminar - November 4th, 2016

Axon regeneration in C. elegans: genes, themes and dynamics - Watch the video

Andrew ChisholmUniversity of California at San Diego (UCSD), United States.

Abstract: The ability of axons to regenerate after injury is a fundamental property of animal neurons. Work in a variety of systems has suggested that the molecular mechanisms of axon regeneration may be highly conserved. Genetic studies in C. elegans have highlighted the roles of Calcium dynamics, DLK MAPK signaling cascades, and posts-transcriptional controls at the level of RNA splicing. [...]

Seminar - June 3rd, 2016

Adapting to a stressful start in life - Watch the video

Alex GouldFrancis Crick Institute, London, UK.

Abstract: Animals often encounter stressful environments during development and so have evolved numerous different coping mechanisms. In mammals, it is known that one important strategy for surviving nutrient deprivation is to protect or spare the growth of critical organs such as the CNS at the expense of others. [...]

Seminar - May 20th, 2016

Evaluating genetic adaptation and epigenetic response to pathogen pressures - Watch the video

Lluis Quintana-MurciInstitut Pasteur, Paris.

Abstract: Infectious diseases have been a major cause of human mortality, so natural selection is expected to act strongly on host defence genes. This is particularly expected for innate immunity genes, as they represent the first line of host defence against pathogens. [...]