MIT’s Dr. Ed Boyden kicks off the WALS season with a talk on Sept. 2 in Masur Auditorium.
You don’t hear the expression “ground truth”
much in biology, which would often settle for
“reproducibility,” at least in the short term, as
a scientific goal. Ground truth is more the territory
of physics, so it’s no surprise that the lead-off
hitter in this season’s Wednesday Afternoon
Lecture Series was trained in that science.
MIT’s Dr. Ed Boyden studied physics
and electrical engineering at both MIT and
Stanford, where he collaborated with Dr. Karl
Deisseroth in opening the field known as optogenetics.
He has earned the right to stake out
ground truths and shared generous portions
of that search Sept. 2 in Masur Auditorium before as large a crowd as one could hope to
get just a few days prior to Labor Day.
NIH director Dr. Francis Collins opened
the talk, touting both the series—“the high
intellectual point of our NIH week”—and
the speaker: “Ed is an innovator of the
Boyden, who holds six leadership posts
at MIT, including teaching a course in
“revolutionary ventures” that encourages
entrepreneurship, directs a technology
group determined to map the pathways from
neurons to behavior, from the nanoscale to