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Robert Winston to deliver public lecture

Media release
2 December 2009

Robert Winston to deliver public lecture at University of Auckland

Esteemed scientist Robert Winston will deliver a free, public lecture at The University of Auckland on the relationship between performance, science and society.

Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College, London, will deliver the opening address at next month’s 2nd International Symposium of Performance Science (ISPS), hosted by the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries (NICAI) at The University of Auckland. The British Council is also supporting the visit of Robert Winston to New Zealand.

The conference will bring together nationally and internationally esteemed artists, scientists, researchers, practitioners, students and teachers to explore the theme “Performing Excellence” from a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives. The conference will investigate such issues as the psychological and emotional demands on the bodies of performing artists; how such artists achieve top-level performance despite ongoing, gruelling demands on their bodies; and whether performing excellencῥ is inherited or can ῢe acquired.

Robert Winston describes music as an “art that gets closest to the basis of our humanity and opens windows of perception in unique and varied ways”. His speech will examine the way music has been, and is, used to manipulate our minds-- from musak in supermarkets, to the pipes at Culloden or the drums and trumpets of soldiers marching into battle, from Furtwangler conῤucting Wagner in front of the Nazi faithful, to Puccini at a football match.

Other keynote speakers include K. Anders Ericsson (Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University), who will deliver “Discovering deliberate practice activities that overcome plateaus and limits on improvement of performance”; Deidre Anderson (Chief Executive Officer, U@MQ, Macquarie University), speaking on œA balanced approach to excellence: Life skill intervention and elite performance; and Sylvie Fortin (Director of Graduate Programs, Deparῴment of Dance, University of Québec, Montreal, Canada), whose speech is entitled œThe dominant artistic diῳcourse as a health determinant.

“At the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries we understand that the maintenance of elite performance is not purely an art form but also a science. We are proud to host this interdisciplinary conference in association with the Royal College of Music, London. The symposium brings together some of the leaders in this emῥrging field of research and practice, says Professor Jenny Dixon, Dean of the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries (NICAI).

The International Symposium of Performance Science (ISPS) 2009 will run 15-18 December at The University of Auckland. Robert Winston will deliver “Performance, Science and Society” from 6.15pm-7.15pm on 15 December at the Fisher and Paykel Auditorium in the Owen G. Glen Business School (12 Grafton Road, Auckland). The lecture is free and open to the public.


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