If you’ve ever wanted to see reality with more clarity and better navigate through uncertainty then do we have the Deviate show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Beau Lotto, Professor of Neuroscience, founder of the Lab of Misfits, and author of a fantastic new book that’ll have you questioning everything you see, Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently.

And that’s what I want to talk with him about today, about how to celebrate uncertainty, The Science of Seeing Differently, and how it affects our lives.




Dr Beau Lotto is a globally renowned neuroscientist whose studies in human perception have taken him well beyond the scientific domain and into the fields of education, the arts and business. Public engagement, in the broadest sense, is at the core of what Beau does – whether he’s creating scientific experiments, giving talks or making TV programmes. By enabling people to experience what it is to be a scientist, Beau’s aim is to encourage them to see science not as an academic investigation but as a way of being that is relevant to every aspect of their lives: this discovery can be powerful enough to make people think differently about both themselves and the world around them. Beau believes passionately in the potential impact of his work on corporate innovation and creativity, and to this end his company, Lottolab Ltd, has teamed up with Purpose, one of London’s most innovative branding consultancies.

Beau’s scientific research, carried out both in the US and the UK (he is attached to UCL), is based on a deep and fundamental interest in human beings. It is also influenced by a strong artistic instinct and a boldness of vision. Beau has always looked outside the lab environment in order to collaborate with those who share his interest in exploring different ways of seeing – and doing – things, be they scientists, artists, musicians, educationalists, designers or entire businesses. As a result his domain is as much a creative studio as a lab, whose output ranges from art installations and visual illusions to workshops designed for corporate leaders. There’s not a lab coat in sight.

Beau’s ambitious ideas about the relevance of science to ordinary people have taken him to places where few other scientists have ventured – including into exhibition space inside the world’s best-known Science Museum, in London, where Lottolab was resident from 2010–12. While at the museum, Lottolab pushed public engagement in science to new levels by involving the public directly in experiments. Beau’s education programme led to the publication of the first-ever, peer-reviewed scientific paper written by schoolchildren (Blackawton Bees, published by the Royal Society).

The potential impact of Beau’s work on corporate innovation and creativity has been recognised by branding consultant, Purpose Ltd, with which Lottolab is now collaborating. This partnership is currently developing several experiential products, including an interactive ‘digital tree’ in a prime London location; an augmented reality social network (in development in Silicon Valley); and, in collaboration with the Peter Baumann Foundation in San Francisco, a pop-up laboratory cum night club/cabaret – a format that Lottolab explored with great success during its Lates events at the Science Museum in London.

His experimentalist, visionary approach to science is winning Beau an ever wider public audience; he has made significant contributions to two episodes of the BBC’s Horizon programme, filmed two programmes with National Geographic Channel and is currently working with PBS in the United States. One journalist suggested that Beau could do as much good for the public appreciation of science as Jamie Oliver has done for our appreciation of food and cooking. And Beau is in increasing demand as a speaker. He has given two TED talks, a relatively rare honour, which have had more than 1.6 million online viewers combined, and has been invited to speak at one of Google’s Zeitgeist events in 2013.

Beau is in increasing demand as a speaker. He has given two TED talks, a relatively rare honour, which have had more than 1.6 million online viewers combined, and has been invited to speak at one of Google’s Zeitgeist events in 2013. He is an inspiring and motivational speaker and uses illusions, games and interaction to engage his audience.


Beau Lotto Online: Website | Twitter

Key Topics:

  • What can we learn from Dr. Marian Diamond?
  • What does it mean that your mind is like a muscle?
  • How complexity helps our brain?
  • How do we help our brain to be more open?
  • What’s the harm of living a passive existence?
  • What can we learn from the kitten in the basket experiments?
  • Why it’s so important to physically interact with your world and make meaning?
  • What’s the importance of challenge and change?
  • What’s wrong with education today, and particularly science education?
  • Why it’s important to continuously know less?
  • What can we learn from “the dress” that broke the internet
  • Why is there no such thing as objectivity?
  • Where do the secrets to what it means to be human exist?
  • What is the real nature of our perception?
  • What’s the importance of conflict and experiencing conflicting situations?
  • How to train your child’s brain?
  • What can we learn from the polypedal lab?
  • What can we learn about the feelspace belt?
  • What are tools that can augment our reality?
  • How are we projecting meaning onto people?
  • What’s the power of being open?
  • How can we live longer and have more diverse experiences, and have a more complex brain?
  • How to strengthen our brain for focus?
  • What it means to “remean” events in your life to change your perceptions and your future
  • What can we learn from Bonobos (and happiness!)
  • What it means to love someone’s deviance, not their normality?
  • What advice for parents to help kids today?
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