The emerging scholarly brain (with applications)

Mar. 4, 2015 from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m. — Physics/Astronomy Auditorium, room A102

Astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University


Without being taught human beings can only count to four (same as crows). The history of our species is the co-evolution, not only of our actual physical bodies, but of our interactions with other humans (society, civilization) and with our machines. Now is a unique time in this development, now is the time when our species, viewed as a coherent organism, develops a functioning brain. The interaction of individuals with vast networked data stores via machine mediation is the key element in this transmogrification. Following some historical set-up I’ll discuss what the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System is doing to aid and abet these changes. Sporadically the talk will be interrupted for a public service message from our sponsor: Sensible Bibliometrics, (1) The Emerging Scholarly Brain and (2) Finding and Recommending Scholarly Articles.


Michael Kurtz is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His research focuses on understanding the distribution of galaxies. He also created the the Astrophysics Data System, which is the primary online database that astronomers and physics use to share their research results.