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Perspectives Blog: Chapter News

"World Wide Mind" to Connect in Twin Cities

Thursday, September 8, 2011   (0 Comments)
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Michael Chorost, Ph.D., author of World Wide Mind: the Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines and the Internet, will present a vision of a future that takes mind-to-mind communication out of the realm of science fiction and discuss how we are on the verge of a radical new understanding of human interaction, when he delivers the John Beardsley Lecture, 7 p.m., Thurs., Oct. 6, 2011, at the Cowles Auditorium on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank campus.

The event is in honor of the legacy of public relations counselor John Beardsley, who died in September 2010, and is co-sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Minneapolis-based public relations firm Padilla Speer Beardsley. A cocktail reception begins at 5:30 p.m.

Chorost, a longtime science writer and reporter, was deaf until the he received cochlear implants in 2001, a turning-point that demonstrated to him how profoundly the human body can be changed by electronics.  The experience led him to write two books, Rebuilt and, earlier this year, World Wide Mind.

Dr. Chorost will describe a much fuller integration of humans and machines. “My two implants make me irreversibly computational, a living example of the integration of humans and computers,” he said. He will discuss how existing technologies such as Twitter and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRIs) presage new forms of communication akin to telepathy. He’ll also address the truly radical possibilities offered by new technologies such as optogenetics.

About the John Beardsley Lecture

John R. Beardsley, APR, was retired chief executive officer of Padilla Speer Beardsley when he died on September 3, 2010. He began his career as a journalist with the Associated Press and was part of the communications departments at Pillsbury Co. and Dayton Hudson Corp. before joining public relations firm Padilla and Speer, Inc. in 1970. He was named CEO of the firm in 1987 and shortly after it became Padilla Speer Beardsley.

The current CEO of Padilla Speer Beardsley, Lynn Casey, APR, said of Beardsley: “One of our firm’s core values – Keep Learning – reflects John’s intense desire to understand the triggers that motivate action from customers, investors, employees and voters. His inspiration came from astonishingly diverse sources ranging from classic literature to pop culture to neuroscience. His most recent passion, social network theory, is at the root of the social media campaigns and word-of-mouth marketing programs that communications firms like ours are now creating for our clients.”

The Beardsley lecture is dedicated to that future-oriented spirit of learning as a tribute to John Beardsley by the Minnesota chapter of PRSA, the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the public relations firm that bears Beardsley’s name.

Minnesota PRSA 1660 Highway 100 South, Suite 500-309 Minneapolis MN 55416 Phone: 952-237-9258 Email:

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