The involvement on the revival of foundations of quantum mechanics of Franco Selleri

The next meeting of NWC will take place on Thursday, January 24 at 20:00 in café Tunnel.

The change of day of the week is due to the fact that this time we will welcome a visiting speaker, Luigi Romano, who conducts his PhD in history of physics in Bari (Italy). He will speak about the involvement on the revival of foundations of quantum mechanics in the 1970s of the Italian physicist Franco Selleri.
Please contact e.schwarzhans(at)gmx.at if you want access to the preparation material (his slides).
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Plan S and the Business of Scientific Publishing

The next meeting of NWC (the last of 2018!) will take place on Tuesday December 11th at 20:00 in café Tunnel.

Following from previous discussions held at NWC, this time Toma will report on the ongoing debate about the new, controversial European initiative towards open access for scientific publications, “Plan S”.

 

Readings:

  • What is “Plan S” and why?

https://www.coalition-s.org/why-plan-s/

  • Principles and guidelines of “Plan S”:
  • And as a background, a couple of stories from Nature News:

 

Project Connection Platform

There are many great projects and initiatives in our midst. From the Naturwissenschaftscafé itself to the THINK Conference, the BRCP, the Climate Action Students, and many more.
You have not heard of some of them and want to know more? That’s exactly the problem we want to tackle with our new initiative.
We want to create an online platform where we can collect all those amazing projects, such that people can easily engage and form new connections and fruitful collaborations.

For that we want to meet at the Naturwissenschaftscafé on Tue 27th Nov at 8pm at the Tunnel (Florianigasse 39, 1080) to discuss how to organize this platform together and to collect as many great projects as we can find.

Join us and help creating this connection platform and let us know if you know of any projects that you want to promote and that should be on there.

Video records of the Lecture Series on Scientific Realism

The video records of the Lecture Series on Scientific Realism are now available at:

https://phaidra.univie.ac.at/view/o:907585

 

The series took place in Summer Semester 2018 and consisted of 9 lectures delivered by prominent international physicists and philosophers on different interpretations of quantum mechanics, ranked in terms of their “degree of realism”. The initiative –completely organised by a group of students from Naturwissenshcaftscafé and sponsored by University of Vienna, IQOQI, CoQuS and VDS-P– garnered a great deal of success, reaching peaks of 170 participants.

This series of lectures aimed at fostering the attention towards foundations of physics, and, as Prof. Brukner pointed out in his introduction (see video [Teil 1]), initiatives of this kind might “strengthen the profile of the University of Vienna as one of the […] informal capitals of foundational questions in science”.

 

Further information on the lecture series on scientific realism:

https://naturwissenschaftscafe.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/lecture-series-on-foundations-of-science-scientific-realism/

Do we need a right for randomness?

The next meeting of NWC will take place on Tuesday, Oct 23rd at 20:00 at the café Tunnel.
Mark will introduce the topic “Do we need a right for randomness?”. Please find below the material for the discussion.
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The Question for my NWC presentation will be: “Do we need a right for randomness?”. What do mean by that: With the ever increasing computational power more and more data about our every day life is collected and used to optimize services for us. Google uses our search history to optimize its search results, Amazon does the same for shopping or Netflix for creating and showing films etc. This is also a general trend in society to measure evermore things and use these measurements to determine what can and will happen. But what happens if my recorded past starts to determine what I will get in the future? Do we need a new human right that prevents that? Or maybe might this be good thing?
Please note that the question is not 100% clearly defined and I don’t know the answer to these questions either, so I would be interested in hearing your opinions about it. I compiled a small list of examples and texts to help you with that. Unfortunately I found it difficult to find (good) good research papers that address these topic.

The Bayesian Brain

Our next, and last meeting this semester will be on the 20th of June at 19:00, this time we will meet at Tunnel Vienna. Moritz will present us “The Bayesian Brain”, a hypotheses of the field of cognitive science.

The Bayesian Brain Hypotheses: Is knowledge stored probabilistically in our brain?

Literature:

Level 0:
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/science/the-odds-continually-updated.html
A superficial but broad account of where Bayesian statistics can be used and a fun read.

Level 1:
http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/nescan/knill.pdf
A nice introductory text on how Bayes theorem is used to update knowledge and how it could be used to explain decision-making in our brain and basic psychological experiments.

Level CogSci debate:
http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/~karl/Whatever%20next.pdf
A good account of the debate in cognitive science about the advantages/disadvantages of the Bayesian brain hypotheses, which was started by an article from Clark and supplemented by comments of researchers in the whole field from different perspectives.