Dr Daniel Glaser, Neuroscientist and Founding Director of Science Gallery London, King’s College London
Dr Daniel Glaser is a leading neuroscientist and science writer. He has worked in some of the most innovative areas where science meets art and has been passionately involved in engaging the public with science.
Having studied English before taking a Masters in knowledge-based systems followed by a PhD in neuroscience, it’s perhaps no surprise that Daniel takes an eclectic view of science and the world. He was appointed Scientist in Residence at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). This was the first appointment of its kind at an arts institution and during his time he examined where art and science meet and the mutual influences on the two disciplines. He also curated events featuring the likes of Brian Eno, Jake Chapman, Jonathan Miller and Ian McEwan.
After the ICA Daniel worked as an imaging neuroscientist at University College London, analysing the brain’s reaction to visual stimuli. He examined how people see actions and activities and the influence being an expert in the practice of a skill has on how they then view it (phenomena he studied using ballet and capoeira dancers).
Daniel then joined the Wellcome Trust in charge of Public Engagement and later Head of Engaging Science. He devised a wide range of initiatives and activities, working with a range of partners, and commissioning grants and schemes often using art to explain science. He then became the founding Director of the Science Gallery at King’s College London. This is a new space where art, culture, academia and science collide in a creative, interactive and educational space to be constructed on the Guy’s Hospital campus near London Bridge.
A natural communicator, Daniel asks audiences to consider how they see things and understand why it is that not everyone sees it the same. Using entertaining and surprising examples he looks at how science, and in particular neuroscience, can help us to understand a whole range of broader issues and do them better, from leadership to serving customers.
As well as presenting a BBC television series on how science really works, Daniel regularly contributes to a variety of TV and radio programmes. He has served as a judge on the Aventis Prize for science books, the Wingate Prize, and was the first scientist to be a Man Booker judge. He also pens a weekly Observer column ‘A neuroscientist explains…’ where he covers the reasons behind everything from festive overindulgence to fashion and texting.