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Consciousness Unconstrained


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While scientists and philosophers have pondered the question for years, still no one knows why, exactly, we dream. Some say dreams are a way to catalogue our memories, to develop our creative capacity, to train our emotional responses. To dream is to let consciousness and unconsciousness co-exist – but to what end?

As part of our Present Sense series – which explores the mysteries of human consciousness – this panel event takes a look at the science of dreaming and the role of an unchained imagination in making leaps in intelligence.

Host Hilary Harper will be joined by Professor Tom Drummond, Melbourne Connect Chair of Digital Innovation at the University of Melbourne, whose research focuses on machine learning in simulated environments, and Jenny Windt, philosopher at Monash University whose work explores spontaneous thought, for a discussion of just how far our minds can take us when they are allowed to wander.

Presented in partnership with Melbourne Monash Consciousness Research


Jennifer Windt

Jennifer Windt is a senior research fellow at the Department of Philosophy and Monash Centre for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies at Monash University. Through her research, funded by the Australian Research Council, she seeks to understand what our minds do when left to their own devices, fo... Read more

Tom Drummond

Professor Drummond is the Melbourne Connect Chair of Digital Innovation for Society at the University of Melbourne. Prior to July 2021, he was Head of Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University, where he was also Chief Investigator and Monash Node Leader for the A... Read more

Hilary Harper

Hilary Harper has a degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing, and 30 years’ experience in radio. She’s been at the ABC since 2005. She’s covered everything from news and current affairs to traffic reporting, arts, health, gardeni... Read more


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