Media Lab Conversations Series: Guts and Genius

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by Stacie Slotnick

March 3, 2015

Joi Ito
Kevin Slavin
David Sun Kong
Joi Ito
Kevin Slavin
David Sun Kong


Your gut is a genius. Inside it exists an astonishing ecosystem of trillions of micro-organisms—more than 10 times the number of human cells in our bodies! This ecosystem of microbes—the human gut microbiota—deeply influences our physiology, from health to mood to even how our brains work. Recent discoveries show what the gut microbiota is capable of, but have also unlocked curious theories, even more questions, and concerns and fears. Can it save all of humanity? Or can it at least give us perfect skin and a cheerful disposition?

Media Lab Director Joi Ito sits down with Kevin Slavin, assistant professor of Media Arts and Sciences and founder of the Playful Systems research group; David Sun Kong, PhD, Lab alum, and MIT synthetic biologist; and special guests to discuss the genius of your gut microbiota. Come and listen, learn, and ask questions!

This event is a part of the 92nd Street Y's 7 Days of Genius Festival. The 92nd Street Y is one of the country’s leading forums for the public discourse of ideas. 92Y harnesses the breadth and depth of its multidisciplinary programming to explore—in person and online—the ideas, inventions, actions, people, potential and controversy that surround the concept of genius ... a word often used but rarely considered.

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