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Danbee Kim

Hi! My name is Danbee (단비), which in Korean means (literally) “sweet rain” and (idiomatically) “the first rain after a drought.” Many of my friends call me Tauntaun, a nickname coined during my freshman year at MIT when I was part of the Musical Theater Guild’s production of Star Wars Trilogy: Musical Edition. I spend a lot of time thinking about education, permaculture, circus, and humane living. I love being in the wilderness, especially in the mountains and by the sea.

I’m currently a PhD candidate in the 2013 cohort of the International Neuroscience Doctoral Programme, headquartered at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisboa, Portugal. I joined the Intelligent Systems Lab in Sept 2013 and moved with the lab to the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in London, UK in 2015. My research combines studies of cuttlefish, the philosophy of science, Perceptual Control Theory, and the evolution of “the brain” throughout time and in many species. In collaboration with NeuroGears, I build interactive art installations that both allow people to participate in field neuroscience experiments and communicate science in fun and interesting ways. You can learn more at

I believe art has an important role in organising and building knowledge, as a tool for helping experts across specialties collaborate and share insights. I got hooked on the neuroscience of storytelling while co-writing and choreographing an original musical called "Hack, Punt, Tool" (you can watch the 2017 production on YouTube). As part of my PhD, I wrote a science fiction graphic novel based on real neuroscience called "The First VIRS" (check our Kickstarter project page!). I’ve also written and performed a set of “science songs” about neuroscience. My dream future is to train and play as a musician, capoeirista, and VIRS (vigilante intergalactic roustabout scholar).

If you would like to get in touch, please tweet @taunbot or email at danbee at alum dot mit dot edu. You can find Danbee at, on Youtube, and Kickstarter.

Collaborations & Opportunities

I'm seeking collaborators passionate about mixing science and tech with arts and crafts. I'm also interested in finding people who are interested in addressing the shortcomings of the current models used for free public education and learning environments in general.