By Despina Williams Parker
A New Paltz psychology professor, a research scientist and an online dating guru walk into a bar. What follows will likely prove to be a fun, stimulating exchange on love and relationships.
The eleventh gathering of the Empiricist League, which “brings together people from scientific backgrounds for the purpose of communicating the power of the scientific method,” will be held Aug. 19 at Union Hall, located at 702 Union Street in Brooklyn. Union Hall is a 5,000 square foot restaurant, bar and live music venue. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the first speaker begins at 8 p.m.
Department of Psychology Professor and Chair Glenn Geher joins Dr. Bianca Acevedo, a research scientist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Christian Rudder, one of the founders of the online dating service OKCupid, for a contemporary look at evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and data analysis.
The Empiricist League welcomes “writers, filmmakers, and oddballs,” and Geher extends a special invitation to New Paltz students and alumni.
“A student who attends will hopefully learn a bit about the ultimate factors that underlie dating and mate selection – and given the venue, they would have an opportunity to see that the discussion of intellectual ideas can be downright fun and exciting,” said Geher.
Geher’s talk, entitled, “Mating Intelligence: Evolutionary Psychology’s Advice for the Lovelorn,” will offer an evolutionary perspective on human mating systems, with a focus on what factors led to monogamy-like systems in our species. Geher, who directs the Evolutionary Studies program at New Paltz, will discuss how we can best understand the concept of love from an evolutionary perspective.
Geher’s peers will approach love from other interesting angles. Dr. Acevedo will deliver a talk entitled, “Sex on the Brain: What Neuroscience Can Teach Us about Love, Lust and Marriage,” and Rudder will explore what data reveals about the habits and desires of online daters. He will explain how data scientists can reveal, with “unprecedented precision how we fight, how we age, how we love, and how we change.”
For more event information, click here.