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Honors Speakers

The Honors College hosts a "Spring Speaker" each year who brings to the campus an important, scholarly discussion that is current and interdisciplinary. Traditionally, prior to the speaker's arrival, a book group open to faculty, staff, and students is sponsored by the College to engage the community in the topic at hand and enliven discussion, debate, and promote opportunities for inquiry. For info on the current reading group, please contact Kate Bruce.

2014 Honors Speaker: DANIEL SIMONS, PHD

The UNCW Honors College will host the lecture, “The Invisible Gorilla:  What We See and What We Miss” by Dr. Daniel Simons, Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the Burney Center Ballroom on the campus of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session and book-signing.  This event is free and open to the public.  No tickets are required.

Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Beckman Institute at University of Illinois, Simons studies the limits of human perception, memory, and awareness.  He is best known for his research showing that people are far less aware of their visual surroundings than they think.

His work is presented in the book The Invisible Gorilla, coauthored by Christopher Chabris.  The Invisible Gorilla is a thought-provoking book about perception, memory, and faulty thinking. Simons and Chabris are the creators of the famous “Gorillas in Our Midst” experiment, which showed that we can fail to notice something glaringly obvious—even when it is right before our eyes.  Not only is the experiment used in almost every psychology class around the world, it has also been covered by hundreds of electronic and print media, discussed by characters on the TV show CSI, and is the subject of a dozen exhibits in science museums around the world. Chabris and Simons’s work has been featured on the CBS Early Show, Dateline, Discovery Channel, and in the New York Times, New Yorker, Scientific American, and more.

Co-sponsored by: Office of the Provost, College of Arts and Sciences, Cameron School of Business, College of Health & Applied Human Services; School of Nursing, Depts of Psychology, Communication Studies, Marketing; Honors Scholars Association and Wilmington Fellows; The Invisible Gorilla Reading Group.

Past speakers for the Honors College have included: Ms. Minnie Jean Brown Trickey, Dr. Kenneth Miller, Mr. Richard Leakey, Dr. E.O. Wilson, Dr. Sarah Boysen, Mr. Seth Kramer and Dr. David Harrison, Mr. David Quammen, Mr. Nat Faxon and Mr. Jim Rash, Mr. Paul Loeb, Dr. Paul Zubrin, Dr. Mark Plotkin, Dr. Michael Ruse, Dr. Maeve Leakey, Mr. Charles Mann, and Mr. Ralph Nader.

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