Stuart Firestein, Ph.D., is the chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences where his colleagues and he study the vertebrate olfactory system, possibly the best chemical detector on the face of the planet. Aside from its molecular detection capabilities, the olfactory system serves as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of signaling and perception in the brain.
Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience, Dr. Firestein serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science.
Recently he was awarded the 2011 Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship and teaching. He has a forthcoming book on the workings of science for a general audience called Ignorance, to be published by Oxford University Press in the Spring of 2012.
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