“I think the thing that’s most amazing is how much we don’t know”.
Science Writer, Presenter & Broadcaster
With a background in natural science and psychology Ginny has presented live science talks and shows around the world as well as on radio and television. A regular on Naked Scientists on BBC Radio and Cambridge TV’s Elemental Ideas Ginny also presented the feature documentary The Empty Niche about the bust of Moncure Conway in the foyer of Conway Hall. She is the co-author of two books for DK Publishing.
My superhero’s superpower is that she can see brainwaves. So all the time, whenever you’re doing anything, whether it’s thinking, or even sleeping or moving, your brain is emitting energy in the form of brainwaves and, most of the time, we can only see this if we rig you up with a special headset and use an EEG machine and then you can see the waves, but my superhero’s power is that she can see them all the time and even manipulate them to make people change their behaviour.
Real life mind control
At the moment you can manipulate people’s behaviour by changing their brainwaves, but you can’t do it without their permission. So the way that it can happen at the moment is using a TMS machine: that stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. So what it does is it emits small magnetic pulses and they put it just above your skull, above the area of the brain that they want to influence, and because brainwaves are electric, effectively, and this is magnetic, electric and magnetic waves affect each other. So what you can do is, you can actually turn off or on parts of the brain and you can make people unable to speak briefly, you can make people’s arms move, so it is possible, but you do have to be right up close to their skull, you can’t do it from a distance so you couldn’t do it without someone knowing.
What we don’t know about the brain
I think the thing that’s most amazing is how much we don’t know. So I always get kids to ask questions at the end of a show and actually the answer to a lot of them is that we don’t know the answer yet, and I think that’s what’s really exciting. But also, the complexity of the brain. So there are more connections inside each of our brains than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy, a huge number of connections, it’s the most complicated thing we’ve discovered in the universe and that’s why there’s so much we don’t know about it, but I think that’s what makes it so interesting.
Visit the exhibition at Conway Hall until January 31st where you’ll be able to purchase a limited edition comic book featuring all the interviews and images. Or alternatively order online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org