The Community Advisory Council advises the Laboratory Director on issues that are important to the community. All meetings are open to the public. Learn more about the Council. Do you have an issue you'd like to raise, a question that you'd like to ask? Let us know!
Brookhaven scientists conduct research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, and in energy technology and national security. The Laboratory is among the five largest high-technology employers on Long Island. More...
At a time when New York's state economy depends on its capacity for
innovation, Brookhaven Lab represents a uniquely valuable resource —
both as a major science-based enterprise in its own right, and as a
source of the scientific discovery and technological innovation on which
Stakeholder Relations Manager
Upton, NY 11973-5000
Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), the company which manages Brookhaven Lab, is committed to providing funding for outreach initiatives in the local community and Long Island region. BSA allocates funds in support science and math education, for fundraising events for recognized organizations, and supports community, civic, cultural and public awareness activities. More...
PubSci: a science café where you can meet scientists, ask questions and talk it over in plain language
Science on Screen: experts in science and technology present classic, cult, and documentary movies that serve as a starting point from which to discuss real research
From a World War I U.S. Army base to a world-renowned center of high-tech research: See how our site and our science have evolved to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
Brookhaven Women In Science Lecture
"Self-Organization and Understanding"
Presented by Natika Newton, PhD, Nassau Community College
4 pm, Hamilton Seminar Room, Bldg. 555
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 4:00 pm
This talk has three parts: 1. I discuss the phenomenon of understanding – our ordinary experience of understanding the objects and events in our environment. Normally we do not pay attention to the understanding process itself, but just to what is understood (e.g. I understand the ordinary things you say, but do not enquire how it is that I understand them); here we focus upon the process. I argue that understanding holds an important key to the nature of human cognition—our ability to think and reason. 2. Next I examine the process of self-organization – the process whereby a type of general order arises from local interactions between parts of an originally chaotic system. Self-organization is so-called because the order is not controlled by any agent external to the system. Many familiar phenomena are self-organized, from rush-hour traffic patterns to ant hills, as well as many organic processes within our bodies. 3. Finally, I attempt to show that understanding is a self-organizing process. In considering cognitive functions in the brain, I take a top-down rather than a bottom-up approach. A top-down approach starts with a general system, in this case our conscious awareness of understanding, and breaks it down into (sometimes unconscious) subsystems. I argue that the sort of understanding we are familiar with is possible only through the self-organized subsystems of our ordinary understanding of our situation and environment.