Jan. 16, 2024

Public forum on AI set


Join the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, Dakota Digital Academy, Crosswinds Institute, Tri-College University and the College of Arts and Sciences for a public forum with Dr. Iain McGilchrist.

The discussion titled “The Divided Brain, the Humanities and AI,” will be held on Jan. 24, from 11 a.m. to noon in Minard Hall room 230. 

McGilchrist, is a world-renowned author who began profoundly transforming our views of neuroscience, culture, literature, philosophy and society with the publication of “The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World,” (Yale University Press, 2009) and “The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World,” (2021). McGilchrist started his career as a literary scholar at Oxford University and then became a medical doctor, psychiatrist and neuroscientist.

Many readers worldwide declare that McGilchrist’s works changed how they see themselves and the world. McGilchrist’s analysis of the brain hemispheres and their implications holds the key to both understand and overcome society’s current crises, which AI threatens to greatly exacerbate.

The discussion will be led by Michael Robinson, NDSU professor of psychology, and Todd Pringle, (Materials and Nanotechnology) and PhD candidate in psychology at NDSU.

The discussion will be based on a lengthy interview that Robinson and Pringle conducted with McGilchrist, which is available on YouTube

McGilchrist is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Consultant Emeritus of the Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital, London, a former research Fellow in Neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, and a former Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch. 

He now lives on the Isle of Skye, off the coast of Northwest Scotland, where he continues to write and lecture worldwide.

McGilchrist is committed to the idea that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context, that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise—the culture that helps mold, and in turn is molded by, our minds and brains.

From 1975 to 1982, McGilchrist taught English at All Souls College, Oxford, and then trained in medicine and became a psychiatrist. He has published original research on neuroimaging in schizophrenia, the phenomenology of schizophrenia, and other topics, and contributed chapters to books on a wide range of subjects, as well as original articles in papers and journals, including the British Journal of Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, British Medical Journal, Lancet and The Times Literary Supplement.

Robinson is a full professor of psychology and one of NDSU’s most cited researchers, with several hundred journal papers. He has received numerous awards, including the James A. Meier Junior and Senior Professorships at NDSU, as well as the Hogoboom Professorship. Robinson is a social-personality-cognitive psychologist, who has published more than 300 articles in psychology journals and given more than 100 conference and scholarly presentations. 

Robinson also has extensive editorial experience, and he currently serves as the editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. In addition, he has edited numerous books in the areas of metaphor, personality psychology, mindfulness, emotion and embodied cognition. Robinson earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees at the University of California, Davis.

Pringle is the cofounder of Crosswinds Institute, a non-profit media organization focused on civic society, education and technology. He is also a part-time academic and PhD student in the Department of Psychology at NDSU. 

Pringle leads electronics hardware teams exploring new technologies in electrification, human-machine interface and perception systems for Deere & Co. He is a partner at the 701 Fund, focusing on pre-seed and seed investments. He cofounded two coatings development companies in outdoor products and surface disinfection. He has a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, a master’s in polymers and coatings science and a PhD in materials and nanotechnology, all from NDSU.

The public forum is sponsored by NDSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Dakota Digital Academy, the Crosswinds, Tri-College University and the College of Arts and Sciences Institute. 

The discussion will also be available online on Zoom:


Meeting ID: 951 0660 4482
Passcode: 20097

Additional information can be provided by Dennis Cooley, NPEI Director, at NDSU.NPEI@ndsu.edu or 701-231-7038.

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