HEART TALKS: DESERT HEART DOES SCIENCE
ERIC LEONARDIS / STEVEN KERNS / CALEB ROBERTSON
At the Desert Hearts three Year Anniversary music festival, we introduced a cutting edge blend of scientific communication and community values. Our passion for scientific research, dance music, and performance set the stage for an easily accessible and immersive educational experience. Our group was provided with a small centrally-located venue close to the main stage with a projector displaying our visuals onto a white shipping truck. We provided couches, seats, and heat lamps to create a comfortable presentation space. We focused on the issues shaping the future of our world: ecology, sustainability, and activism. By further exploring the human mind and social technologies, we offered a space that cultivated deeper, more meaningful human connections.
Eric Leonardis began by presenting a talk about the neuroscience of “vibes,” while displaying quickly flashing diagrams and videos of neurons and related social interactions. He suggested that the colloquial term “vibe” refers to group-scale unconscious processing of social information. Steven Kerns shared the ecological research he did in the Costa Rican rain forest and explained how the community could become more environmentally active. Tynan Hartzell presented on the psychology of sustainability and Tyler Bert gave a talk about the geology of crystal formation. Each speaker brought their own lively energy and met the surrounding community at an intimate level.
Our venue’s proximity to the stage afforded us a soundtrack, allowing us to incorporate an engaging performance aspect in our presentations. We danced to the beat of the music and expressed our deep love of music festival culture. We created an atmosphere that encouraged participation with the audience, which lead to an in-depth question and answer session.
One participant said, “I happened to attend Desert Hearts Does Science because I simply wanted a place to sit-down for a few minutes… I ended up staying for the entire two hour presentation—with the music going in the background, the visuals, and the fascinating speakers, I fell in love with the fresh approach to learning something new!” This was the first time we had the opportunity of sharing our passion for science and sustainability with the community, and we are excited for our future endeavors.