Montag 28.03.2022 18:00 — 19:30
Online Event

Growing Up in Academia with Christof Koch

Christof Koch

Courtesy: Christof Koch

Christof Koch

Courtesy: Christof Koch

What is it to be a scientist? How does one become a scientist? Growing Up in Academia is a conversation series with academics at different levels of their career focusing on the sometimes short, sometimes long and winding roads behind the “official CV”.

Each event features an open conversation (interview) with a different faculty member, representing the broad spectrum of academic life. We will cover topics such as dealing with expectations (your own and others’), the role of luck/coincidence in scientific discovery, impostor syndrome, procrastination, and conflicts with advisors. Join us for a conversation about the human factors that universally inform the profession, but that too often remain unspoken. These events will be hosted and presented by Lucia Melloni (Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics). 

On Monday, March 28, 2022, Growing Up in Academia features Christof Koch, Chief Scientist and President of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle in the Pacific Northwest, USA.


You can register for the event by using this link.

Official CV

I’m a scholar and scientist best known for my experiments and writings exploring the brain and consciousness. As my parents were German diplomats, I had an itinerant but happy childhood, living in many cities in America, Africa, Europe, and Asia; I still retain a distinct Teutonic accent. Trained as a physicist in Germany, I worked for four years at MIT before becoming a professor of biology and engineering at Caltech in Pasadena, one of the nation’s most preeminent science schools. I spent 27 productive years in its ivory tower. In 2011, Paul Allen, the philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder, recruited me as Chief Scientist to the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, leading a massive ten-year effort in systems neuroscience. Subsequently, I became the president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, overseeing the institute’s growth to more than 300 scientists, engineers, and staff. At the beginning of the pandemic, I stepped down to focus on leading the MindScope Program at the Allen Institute. Simultaneously, I became Chief Scientist of Elizabeth Koch’s Tiny Blue Dot Foundation in Santa Monica, seeking to understand consciousness, its place in nature, and how this knowledge can benefit all of humanity.

I’ve been the advisor of about 50 PhD graduate students and 60 post-doctoral fellows, the co-author of >300 academic articles, cited > 140,000 times, and the sole author of four academic books (with Oxford and MIT University Press) on biophysics, cortex and consciousness and write regularly for a variety of magazines (Scientific American,Technology Review, Wall Street Journal) and speak on many pod-casts.

Unofficial CV

Read here an excerpt from an autobiographical chapter of Christof Koch's book "Consciousness - Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist" (MIT Press, 2011), first published in 2011:

Christof Koch book excerpt



The event will be held on Zoom. Pleaso note the Data Protection Information Regarding Zoom Webinars.