I am Diana Xie, a 22 year old neuroscience researcher at Duke University, and I just successfully funded a new online TV show about brain science with Kickstarter. Ask me anything.
Edit 2: Now my mentor (JF) has made his own IAmA! Check it out: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1reafj/i_am_dr_jeanfrancois_gari%C3%A9py_a_brain_researcher/
Edit 1: Thank you everyone for your comments and questions! JF (jfgariepy) and I had a lot of fun answering them. Very amusing that entire threads were dedicated to psychoanalyzing me and studying the details of this title :) Anyways, it was great being here! Thanks to your support, we'll be producing an awesome show that will teach in-depth concepts in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy to everyone on the Internet.
In May, I completed my studies in Biology and Pharmacology. I then joined a laboratory at Duke University that seeks to understand how human cognition works and how it is disrupted in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. There, I met Dr. Jean-François Gariépy (JF), an ethologist who has been investigating how the brain controls behaviors for a decade. He became my mentor and showed me how to conduct scientific research.
During my training as a scientist, I discovered some of the fascinating knowledge that we already have on how the brain works - how neurons transmit signals, how neuromodulators influence those signals, how the brain makes decisions in complex situations, such as those confronted by social animals.
JF had the idea that discussions among scientists about the brain should be aired for free to everyone on the Internet. I thought this was a brilliant idea. On November 1st, we launched a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund NEURO.tv, a not-for-profit online TV show motivated by these beliefs. At the time, I thought the campaign was a crazy idea, because of how ambitious the project and its Kickstarter goal were. However, we have now reached the full $25,000, and it’s been quite an adventure getting there. Our project was backed by neuroscientists and psychologists from Duke, Harvard, MIT, Oxford and many other universities. We have been exchanging with scientists, philosophers and art professors around the world who have expressed their enthusiasm about our project, and the messages of support and pledges that we have received are very moving.
We have now reached our goal with 7 days left to the campaign, and JF has announced that if we reach our $45,000 stretch goal, he will "Dance for Science". JF has pretty much lived in scientific laboratories all his life and has never danced. He contacted Boris Penton, one of the most innovative Dubstep dancers in the world, member of the well-known Dragon House crew. Boris has accepted to train JF for 4 hours if we reach our stretch goal, so JF can produce a 3-minute dubstep dance video. I find it unlikely that JF can learn to dance Dubstep in 4 hours, but I like the idea of NEURO.tv developing new links with people outside of science who might be interested to learn about the brain, and conversely motivate scientists to care about what's happening in the world outside of science. Hopefully, this is the kind of dialogue between scientists and society that initiatives like NEURO.tv can stimulate.