Francis Crick and Animal Consciousness

Doors Open: 7:45am, Presentations Begin: 8:30am, Live Video Stream Starts: 8:30am

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The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in Non-Human Animals was publicly proclaimed in Cambridge, UK, on July 7, 2012, at the conclusion of the Conference, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, by Philip Low, David Edelman and Christof Koch. It was written by Philip Low and edited by Jaak Panksepp, Diana Reiss, David Edelman, Bruno Van Swinderen, Philip Low, and Christof Koch. The Declaration was signed by the conference participants that very evening, in the presence of Stephen Hawking, in the Balfour Room at the Hotel du Vin in Cambridge, UK. The signing ceremony was memorialized by CBS 60 Minutes. Download a copy of the Declaration

History of the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness:
   V1 7/3/2012 Sent at 12:59 AM PT
   V2 7/3/2012 Received at 6:42 AM PT
   V3 7/3/2012 2:40 PM PT
   V3+ 7/3/2012 2:52 PM PT
   V4 DR 12:54 AM PT
   V4 DR + PL comments 7/5/2012 Sent at 1:48 AM PT (later bc of PLs comments)
   V5 PL 7/5/2012 Sent at 1:48 AM PT
   V6 DE 7/5/2012 Sent at 3:16 AM PT
   V7 JP 7/5/2012 Sent at 3:41 AM PT
   V8 PL edits of JP and PL accepting edit from CK 7/5/2012 10:34 AM PT
   V9 7/13/2012 10:37 AM PT

Joseph Dial, rancher and former executive director of the Mind Science Foundation

Commemorative Champagne bottle, Hawking bib, and signing pen

Signing Dinner in the Balfour Room

In the News:
   Lapham's Quarterly: "One of Us", an essay on animal consciousness
   Scientific American: "Self-Awareness with a Simple Brain"
   New Scientist: "Animals are conscious and should be treated as such"
   Scientific American reports: "Octopuses Gain Consciousness"
   Forbes asks "Non-Human Consciousness Exists Say Experts. Now What?"
   Huffington Post blog by Christof Koch states "Consciousness is Everywhere"
   Almost Human
   Veja interviews Dr. Low: "You can no longer say that we did not know."
   Huffington Post on the First Scientific Conference on Animal Consciousness
   Misfit monkeys and the mysteries of consciousness
   Audio clip of Dr. Low interviewed by BBC


" the leading edge of one of the biggest modern-day shifts in human thought. In July 2012, a prominent group of scientists released the 'Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness', a formal acknowledgment that many non-human animals, including mammals, birds and cephalopods, also possess 'the neurological substrates that generate consciousness'."

The First Annual Francis Crick Memorial Conference, focusing on "Consciousness in Humans and Non-Human Animals", aims to provide a purely data-driven perspective on the neural correlates of consciousness. The most advanced quantitative techniques for measuring and monitoring consciousness will be presented, with the topics of focus ranging from exploring the properties of neurons deep in the brainstem, to assessing global cerebral function in comatose patients. Model organisms investigated will span the species spectrum from flies to rodents, humans to birds, elephants to dolphins, and will be approached from the viewpoint of three branches of biology: anatomy, physiology, and behavior. Until animals have their own storytellers, humans will always have the most glorious part of the story, and with this proverbial concept in mind, the symposium will address the notion that humans do not alone possess the neurological faculties that constitute consciousness as it is presently understood.

Related Links and News:
   Modern Warrior: Damien Mander, Founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, at TEDxSydney

Selected Video Sessions: 17 Talks and Presentations

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