Gerald M. Edelman is founding director of The Neurosciences Institute, and professor and chair of the Department of Neurobiology at The Scripts Research Institute, both located in La Jolla, California. The Neurosciences Institute is dedicated to studying the workings of the brain at the most fundamental level, illuminating the biological principles that form the essence of conscious life. Edelman is the father of "neural Darwinism," a multidisciplinary theory that combines insights about brain composition, connectivity, structure, function, and evolution. His groundbreaking research into the nature of consciousness embraces the full reality of perception, memory, learning, and language. Edelman shifted into neuroscience after winning the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1972 (with Rodnet Porter) for his work in immunology. Edelman has been the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and honorary degrees. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He has authored more than 500 research publications in addition to books for general audiences, including Neural Darwinism; Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind; The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory of Consciousness, and his most recent book published last year, Wider Than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness.