Uri is a neuroscientist at Chapman University in the US, where he uses experiments and computer programmes to understand how the brain makes decisions, and what that tells us about whether we have free will.
Uri was a young scientist at grad school when he ended up at a conference he hadn't been invited to (a story he promises to tell us next time he's in The Garden) and was presented with a big question he hadn't thought about before; a question that usually gets left to philosophers to tackle. The question was, Do humans have free will?
We experience ourselves as very free, and think that whether we act or not is completely up to us. But the reality is, no mechanism for this kind of freedom is known to science.
Uri was hooked, and has dedicated his career to answering this question, not through philosophy but by looking at the brain and human behaviour. He spends his time designing experiments and devising computational models that illuminate just how much control we humans have over our own decision making.
Uri's career has taken him to some of the foremost research institutions globally, including UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Caltech, the Hebrew University and the Collège de France. He's now Assistant Professor of Computational Neuroscience at Chapman University in the US, and runs a large, international project that brings neuroscientists and philosophers together to investigate free will.