Arizona State University (ASU)

Cellular processes and social behaviors and… zombies?

Academic meeting embraces zombie apocalypse, spans the sciences, the arts and the scary

Newswise — What do cellular systems in the human body and social behaviors of people have in common with zombies? 

If you dare to attend the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting (ZAMM) October 15-18, 2020, you would learn that cells, large groups of people and the undead all act cooperatively and engage in conflict.

Moving from conflict to cooperation requires communication, especially for difficult topics or when reality seems as apocalyptic as fiction. Framing concepts in terms of the zombie apocalypse lets scientists, artists, journalists and the general public engage with ideas like how cheating happens among people and microscopic cells.

ZAMM spans the sciences, arts and the scary. Because of the pandemic, this year’s meeting has been reanimated to be broadcast on a livestream television channel dedicated to communicating science called Channel Zed.

“The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting lets us bring our brains together to consider what is happening in the world from a big picture perspective,” said Athena Aktipis, associate professor of psychology Arizona State University and the founder of ZAMM. “The goal is to break down the barriers that prevent people from engaging with academic scholarship and with the realities of what is going on in our world.”

Some of Channel Zed’s offerings include Undead Live, a daily news show about science that airs Mondays at 10:30; Late Night Brains, a show dedicated to interviewing scientists and zombie enthusiasts; and Eat, Prey, Run, a cooking show that covers survivalist cooking and the zombification of food also known as fermentation.

Registrants for the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting will have access to special Channel Zed programming on topics like how birth control, race relations, the pandemic, sex, literature and social media can all be thought of as zombification processes.

Registration and abstract submission are available at: www.zombiemed.org




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