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Vol. 6, Issue 22

How Does Music Move Us?

How can music—essentially just a series of notes—evoke the intense emotions of joy, nostalgia, or sadness? How do certain pieces trigger chills and shivers down our spine even after repeated listens? Why are we sometimes drawn to songs that make us feel sorrow and pain? How is music able to mentally transport us so effortlessly into how we felt in the past? These are just some of the questions scientists have been trying to answer when studying the relationship between music and emotions. At Columbia, Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience Matthew Sachs investigates the neural and behavioral mechanisms involved in emotions and feeling in response to naturalistic stimuli, such as music and sounds in film. On November 9, Sachs and a group of experts in music composition (Chanda Dancy), neuroscience (Elvira Brattico), and machine learning (Anna Huang) will convene virtually to discuss How Music Moves Us: Exploring the Connection Between Music and Emotions.

We spoke with Sachs and composer Chanda Dancy about their upcoming event and how they think about the role emotions play in how we listen and respond to music. Read the full article on our website and join us on November 9 at 2:00 PM ET. Free and open to the public; registration required. 

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Tomorrow is Election Day! In New York, it's the last day to vote in person or send your absentee ballot. If you have questions about your ballot or your registration status, be sure to visit Columbia Votes. For election reporting from Columbia on public health, the environment and more, please visit the 2020 Elections news page

Featured Events:

Our online calendar of events includes virtual events.

How Racism Affects Public Health Student Town Hall

November 5 | 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET

Join BioBus to explore how racism, mental health, and public health are connected. Designed for K-12 students and educators, audience members can submit questions for the panel of scientists. Supported by a 2020 Center Public Outreach Grant. Free and open to the public.

Accidents of Geography: Historicizing Genetic Cartographies of the Middle East

November 18 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM ET
Genetic tree diagrams and gene migration maps have influenced scientific and popular ideas about the spread of humans around the globe. Learn how genetic geography imagery paints the Middle East as both the “crossroads” of human migration and the birthplace of distinct gene sequences. Free and open to the public; registration required. 
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Lucy Suchman - Comparing Domains of Improvisation

November 20 | 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET

Suchman joins the Comparing Domains of Improvisation Discussion Group to share her work on improvisation and machines, computers, and artificial intelligence. Free and open to the public; registration required. 

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The First 1000 Days of Life: Setting the Stage for Equity

December 8 | 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM ET
Deep structural and systemic racism in America creates inequities that we begin to see within the first two years of life. This seminar will cover the importance of the first 1000 days of life, the intricate connection of this vulnerable time period to the rest of life, and how institutional racism has affected our public health systems.
Sponsored by Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience program. Free and open to the public; registration required. 
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Featured Deadline: 

For a complete listing of upcoming deadlines, please visit our website.

2021 Center for Science and Society Seed Grants

Due December 15, 2020. Columbia University students, postdocs, and junior faculty are to propose interdisciplinary projects. Applications that connect to our year-long theme of Knowledge and Access and/or focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion in policies, systems, and spaces in science and society will be prioritized. 

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The Science and Society Newsletter is sent biweekly and features updates from the Center and featured upcoming events and deadlines. While we can not guarantee that your event will be featured, we are always happy to include relevant upcoming events, grant deadlines, calls for papers, open positions, etc on our website. Please email us at with any submissions. 

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