Reading Our Minds:

The Rise of Big Data Psychiatry


Dr. Daniel Barron 

MD Yale, PhD UT San Antonio

Pain Medicine fellow at University of Washington

Dr. Milton L. Wainberg

Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of Global Mental Health Research, Dept of Psychiatry, Columbia University


Nicholas Lemann

Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism; Dean Emeritus; Director, Columbia World Projects

What is Psychiatry and How Can We Improve It?

In the last hundred years, most of the medical sciences have progressed in immense and unforeseeable ways—except for psychiatry, which has somehow remained immune to this progress. Daniel Barron, a psychiatrist who trained at the Yale School of Medicine, asks an important question: What’s holding psychiatry back?

Reading Our Minds takes us to a psychiatric hospital, where Barron evaluates a young woman with psychosis, and shows how his exam is limited by his own ability to ask questions and observe, and by his patient’s ability to sense, interpret, and report her experience. Barron shows why psychiatry must move beyond conversation—and how sensors, measurements, and algorithms might progress psychiatric practice. At once pioneering and engaging, Reading Our Minds introduces readers to the Big Data technologies that might revolutionize the way we evaluate, diagnose, and treat mental illness and bring psychiatry firmly into the fold of 21st-century medical science.

Joining the discussion will be Dr. Milton L. Wainberg, Director of Global Mental Health Research at Columbia University. Nicholas Lemann, Director of the Columbia Global Reports and Dean Emeritus of the Columbia Journalism School will be moderating the discussion.

Cosponsored by:
  • Yale Club of Washington DC
  • Columbia Alumni Association


Daniel Barron completed his medical training and Psychiatry residency at Yale University, where he was the Chief Resident of both Yale's Neuroscience Research Training Program and of the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit. He holds a PhD in Human Brain Imaging from the University of Texas and is a regular contributor at Scientific American. He is currently a fellow in Pain Medicine at the University of Washington and lives in Seattle's Capitol Hill with his wife and son. Reading Our Minds is his first book. Follow him at @daniel__barron.

Milton L. Wainberg is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, Director of the NIMH-funded Columbia University Global Mental Health Implementation Science T32-Post Doctoral Fellowship, NIMH/Fogarty International-funded Portuguese-speaking African countries Mental Health Implementation Research Training Program, Founding Chair of the Caucus of Global Mental Health and Psychiatry of the American Psychiatric Association, and Medical Director of the Columbia University HIV Mental Health Training Project. Dr. Wainberg is also the Chair of the Mental Health HIV Clinical Guidelines Committee of the New York State Department of Health/AIDS Institute, and Principal investigator or investigator of several NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA and CDC studies addressing HIV prevention and adherence to treatment, alcohol and drugs, sexual compulsivity, HIV-associated fatigue, and mental disorders.

Nicholas Lemann is Dean Emeritus of Columbia Journalism School and currently a professor at the school. In addition, he is a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of several highly acclaimed books, including Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War; The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy; and The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America.

edsall.jpeg.256x256_q100_crop-smart_1_.jpgColumbia Global Reports is a new publishing imprint that's producing four to six ambitious works of journalism and analysis a year, each on a different underreported story in the world. Authors are commissioned to do original on-site reporting around the globe, and are on a wide range of political financial, scientific, and cultural topics-stories and ideas that matter. Books are novella-length and offer new ways to look at and understand the world that can be read in just a few hours. 



April 28, 2021 at 6:00pm - 7pm


Washington, DC
United States

Miyako Yerick


Will you come?