Dr. Stuart J. Firestein

Advisory Board

Dr. Stuart Firestein is the former Chair of Columbia University's Department of Biological Sciences where his laboratory studies the vertebrate olfactory system which serves as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of signaling and perception in the brain. His laboratory seeks to answer that fundamental human question: How do I smell?

Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience Firestein serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science, where he reviews scripts for the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Science and Technology Program, and for the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2011 he received the Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship and teaching. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, an Alfred Sloan Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. He recently joined the Santa Fe Institute as a member of the (visiting) Fractal Faculty. At Columbia he is on the Advisory boards of the Center for Science and Society (CSS) and the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience – both centers for interdisciplinary work between the sciences and the humanities. He has published two books on the workings of science for a general audience, Ignorance, How it Drives Science and Failure: Why Science is So Successful. They have been translated into 12 languages. He is a regular contributor to Nautilus magazine.