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December 24, 1997

Holiday Lectures Bring Tidings of Good Science

JAMA. 1997;278(24):2127-2128. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550240015005

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EACH December for the past 5 years, some of the country's most respected biomedical scientists have opened a window on their worlds to high school students in a series of "holiday lectures"—an event modeled after a tradition begun by the 19th-century English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday.

This year, with a series named (with a nod to Jane Austen) "Sense and Sensitivity: Neuronal Alliances for Sight and Sound," 2 leading neuroscientists asked students to consider just what goes on in their brains when they see and hear.

In 4 one-hour lectures, the speakers, A. James Hudspeth, PhD, MD, of The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, and Jeremy H. Nathans, MD, PhD, of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md, explored the biological mechanisms that underlie the senses and enable humans and other organisms to detect and process stimuli such as sights and sounds. In previous years, Howard