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  • Ryan's Daughter 350 East 85th Street New York, NY, 10028 United States (map)

From carving scary faces in pumpkins to watching fear-inducing films, Halloween conjures up an obsession with all things horror. While we know that many of the creatures portrayed during this holiday are purely fictional, we still seem to be frightened by the idea of ghosts and zombies. Is there any rational explanation to why we are afraid of these horrific creatures? Or is it purely a biological response to a disturbing stimuli?

During this Taste of Science (formerly Pint of Science) event, we will dive into these questions. Erin Coffey will explain the science behind zombies, and Nathan Lents will describe how fear responses in humans and animals is more alike than we might think. Come join us as we kick off our next season of events!

Erin Coffey, PhD The Science of Zombies

Is zombification more like a virus or like a degenerative brain disease? Why the shambling walk? Why the rotting flesh? And is there any way to make a zombie right now? Join Dr. Erin Coffey, former neuroscientist, current educator, and full-time nerd, to ponder these and other Halloween-appropriate zombie questions.

Nathan Lents, PhD Afraid of the Dark

Nathan H. Lents received a BS and PhD from Saint Louis University, postdoctoral training at New York University, and has been on the faculty of John Jay College of The City University of New York since 2006. His research has been funded by the NSF, NIH, and US DoEd and appeared in over 30 scientific articles. He has also written 8 book chapters and review articles, dozens of educational modules, and two magazine articles. His first book, “Not So Different: Funding Human Nature in Animals” was published in 2016 by Columbia University Press and his second book, “Not So Perfect: Big Design Flaws in the Human Form” will be published in late 2017. He blogs for Psychology Today under the tagline, “Beastly Behavior: How Evolution Shaped our Minds and Bodies” and also maintains The Human Evolution Blog.

Later Event: November 29