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What is Gut Churn?

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Author: GSBS | Category: Of Interest | August 15, 2016

Radiolab host Jad Abumrad will speak on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity University about innovation. The event is free and open to the public. 

Gut Churn

Jad Abumrad, MacArthur Fellow & Host of the Peabody Award-winning Radiolab

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 6:30 pm
Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University

This event is sponsored by Mind Science Foundation, Texas Public Radio, and Trinity University's Neuroscience Program and the Lecturers and Visiting Scholars Committee.

This lecture thread begins with a simple question: what does it mean to “innovate?” How does it feel to make something new in the world? (These are questions Jad Abumrad was frequently asked after being awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 2011). 

This lecture, on one level, is the personal story of how Jad invented a new aesthetic. On another, it is a clinic in the art of storytelling. 

On a third and more profound level, the lecture is the result of a three-year investigation into the science, philosophy and art of uncertainty, which all began with the two words that are the title of this talk. Gut churn. What use do negative feelings have during the creative process? Do those feelings get in the way, or do they propel us forward? 

(The presentation will include: audio clips, still images, video, live sound manipulation).


Jad Abumrad: Why "Gut Churn" Is an Essential Part of the Creative Process from 99U on Vimeo.

Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab, a public radio program broadcast on 524 stations across the nation and downloaded more than 9 million times a month as a podcast. Most days, Radiolab is the 2nd most popular podcast, just behind "This American Life."

Abumrad grew up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. Following graduation, Abumrad wrote music for films, and reported and produced documentaries for a variety of local and national public radio programs.

In 2002, Abumrad began tinkering with an idea for a new kind of radio program, an open-ended radio “laboratory.” Radiolab has since evolved into one of public radio’s most popular programs. Abumrad hosts the program with Robert Krulwich and also serves as its lead producer, composer and managing editor.

Abumrad employs his dual backgrounds as composer and journalist to create what’s been called “a new aesthetic” in broadcast journalism. He orchestrates dialogue, music, interviews and sound effects into compelling documentaries that draw listeners into investigations of otherwise intimidating topics, such as the nature of numbers, the evolution of altruism, or the legal foundation for the war on terror.

In 2010, Radiolab was awarded the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and 2011 Abumrad was honored as a MacArthur Fellow (also known as the Genius Grant). The MacArthur Foundation website says: “Abumrad is inspiring boundless curiosity within a new generation of listeners and experimenting with sound to find ever more effective and entertaining ways to explain ideas and tell a story.” In 2015 The Radiolab episode ‘60 Words’ was awarded a George Foster Peabody Award.

Alongside his radio work, Abumrad continues to work as a composer and remixer. His music is currently being performed across the country via The New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University.

This event is presented by the Mind Science Foundation and the below sponsors. 

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