The Connecticut Forum is an group that organizes about four talks each year by notable notables. For my last eight years in this state, the group stayed under my radar. It flew into center stage this past summer with the announcement of three guests: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Neil Gaiman, and Neri Oxman.
I have deeply enjoy the youtube clips of Neil deGrasse Tyson and had heard vicariously that Neil Gaimon was a great author, so I
forced convinced Jen to come along with me to the event and bought some tickets.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who does a remarkably good job of communicating the importance of science and education. If you’ve never heard him talk, I recommend this long but worthwhile interview by Stephen Colbert.
Neil Gaiman is an author. Jen and I read his books American Gods and Stardust before this event. I really want to read his Sandman series which I’m told is otherworldly, but haven’t yet got my hands on it. I recommend Stardust for the casual (read: not dorky) reader. It’s a cute story that lies somewhere in between fantasy and fairy tale.
Neri Oxman is an architect/designer who has a powerful dream of giving body to materials. That is, she strives to design materials that will interact with their user. There is an interview with her here that is pretty great except for the mind numbingly persistant music in the background.
It was awesome! My biggest gripe was that the panelists did such a thorough job answering questions that not many questions ended up being answered. At an 90-120min in length, I also could have easily enjoyed another 60 minutes of the experience.
At the onset, I was worried that Neri Oxman might be drowned out by the charismatic voices of the Neils, but such was not the case. My favorite discussion might have been one that related art and science and creativity. It was great!
The following three videos show each candidate in a backstage interview talking a little bit about the forum and about the youth forum which took place for a few lucky youngsters before the big event. Check ’em out!