Blue Brain | Year Two: Noah Hutton’s second film documenting year two in a ten year documentary about the Blue Brain Project. The Blue Brain Project is an ambitious and arguably quixotic quest to provide a complete functional model of the human brain, down to the molecular level, by 2020.
In part two, the scientists are noticeably defensive about their research program, yet still forcefully optimistic. As the project director Henry Markram says,
I’m into this to understand the brain — not for my grandchildren to understand the brain — in my lifetime and as soon as possible.
Markram gets to the heart of the controversy surrounding his project with this statement. Will the Big Question of neuroscience, the structure of consciousness, be revealed in our lifetimes? Others, such as Francis Crick, took this bet and lost. Yet to continually take the side of doubt is to bet on ignorance, a losing strategy in the game of science.
Hutton’s short documentary is a beautiful glimpse into the lives of the scientists who are bravely taking on the ultimate challenge in neuroscience. It is well worth your thirteen minutes.