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What lies at the heart of humanity’s ability―and drive―to create? New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist David Eagleman teams up with internationally acclaimed composer and Associate Professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music Anthony Brandt in a wide-ranging exploration of human creativity. In their new book, The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World, the pair studies hundreds of examples of human creativity from landing on the moon to paintings by Picasso to connect what creative acts have in common. By uncovering the essential elements of human innovation and examining them through the lens of cutting-edge neuroscience, Eagleman and Brandt consider how we can harness creativity to better our lives, schools, businesses, and institutions. Join us for an inspiring look at humanity’s unique ability to use the powerful tools of arts, technology, science, and more to improve our future.

David Eagleman

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and the New York Times bestselling author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain and Sum: Tales from the Afterlives. He is the writer and host of the Emmy-nominated PBS television series The Brain. Eagleman is an adjunct professor at Stanford University, a Guggenheim fellow, and the director of the Center for Science and Law. He has written for The New York Times, Discover Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, Wired, and many other publications, and he appears regularly on National Public Radio and BBC.


Anthony Brandt

Anthony Brandt is a composer and professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He is also Artistic Director of the contemporary music ensemble Musiqa, winner of two  Awards for Adventurous Programming from Chamber Music America and ASCAP. Brandt has received a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer and the Houston Arts Alliance. He lives in Houston with his wife and children.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: Illustration by Merjin Hos (Book Cover)


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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