Editing genomes with CRISPR

The next meeting will take place on the 18.10. at 19:30 at the Tunnel Vienna.
The topic this time is going to be: Editing genomes with CRISPR, between scientific breakthroughs and societal challenges

Please have a look at the literature provided:

1)
Watch this video to have a basic understanding what CRISPR is and why it is so revolutionary for genome editing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAhjPd4uNFY

2)
CRISPR “history”:
https://www.wired.com/2015/07/crispr-dna-editing-2

Should you edit your children’s genes?
http://www.nature.com/news/should-you-edit-your-children-s-genes-1.19432http://www.nature.com/news/should-you-edit-your-children-s-genes-1.19432

Welcome to the CRISPR Zoo:
http://www.nature.com/news/welcome-to-the-crispr-zoo-1.19537

How CRISPR works on a molecular Level:

3)
Attend after our discussion the “editing genomes with CRISPR, between scientific breakthroughs and societal challenges” symposium! The symposium is for free and it will take place on the 19 + 20.10.17. If you want to go there you have to register until the 13.10.17 here:

https://rri.univie.ac.at/aktivitaeten/workshopconferences/crispr-symposium/

what can you experience at the symposium:
  • An open dialogue between the scientific community (ranging from life scientists, to social scientists, and beyond) and civil society, discussing ongoing applications of the CRISPR technology, expected and envisioned developments, and the benefits, caveats and consequences of this technology’s applications;
  • provide a platform for public engagement on this topic, enabling researchers involved in the CRISPR field to interact with citizens, regulators, and stakeholders;
  • raise these issues in a European context, in order to facilitate the development of a European engagement with this revolution.
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Social implications of AI

The next and last meeting for this semester will take place on the 30.6. at 18:00 at the Tunnel Vienna.
Since we probably don’t see each other till October, we figured it would be nice to have a “home exercise” for the summer (like last year). Therefore I’d like to ask you for suggestions. If there is any literature you think is interesting, let us know. On the next meeting we will then choose together which one we want to read over the summer. Besides that we also will send out a collection of all suggestions.

For our this times meeting Nino prepared the topic Social implications of AI. Please have a look at the literature provided:

1)
Kurzgesagt Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSKi8HfcxEk
CGP-Grey Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU
2)
Wait-But-Why Blog Part 1&2:
http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html
http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html
3)
Paper on AI-Safety:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1606.06565
“The focus of the discussion should not be if and how a general AI is technological feasible but on the social implications of automation and the rapid improvement of AI’s”

What is life? Are viruses alive?

The next meeting will take place on Fr 16.6. 18:00 again in Tunnel Vienna. This times topic will be: What is life? Are viruses alive? presented by Geli and Patrick.
Please read into and watch the materials provided in order for us to have a common basis of knowledge for the discussion:

Level 1:

Watch this video explaining in brief what Viruses are and discussing differences in organization compared to things perceived as alive.

Level 2:

Read these articles discussing how newly found giant viruses might alter our previous understanding of aliveness/alivehood/alivebeing?
level 3:
Read a physicists perspective on the subject in Erwin Schroedingers book: What is life? A book that is based on a course of lectures held in 1943.

Should we colonize Mars?

The next meeting will take place on Fr 2.6. at 18:00 again in Tunnel Vienna.
This times Topic will be: Should we colonize Mars?, prepared by Thomas.Please make use of the great amount of Literature Thomas provided and read into the topic so we can have a nice discussion:

Level 1 Fundaments
As basis for our discussion I take this article in the Jacobin Magazine on the difficulties of governing a future Mars colony:
A critical view on Space X’s endeavours of colonizing the red planet and their moral context:
Level 2 Background
A response on the Aeon article on Space X’s efforts and how space exploration can aid humankind:
More on the Jacobin Magazine article in an interview with the author:
For more on space fairing context, a somewhat blue-eyed but fun to read article on how we would colonize Mars as part three of a series of posts on space colonization by waitbutwhy:
Level 3 Moar, moar, moar!
Videos and articles on the context of space travel:

Decoherence, the quantum-to -classical transition

The next meeting will take place on Fr. 19.5. at 18:00 in Tunnel Vienna
Lana is going to present the topic:
Decoherence, the quantum-to -classical transition
To be able to participate in the discussion pleas read the literature provided :

level 1: 

Level 2: 

W. Zurek 2003: decoherence and the transition from quantum to classical – revisited
https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0306072Level 3: book 

M. Schlosshauer: Decoherence and the quantum to classical transition

Paul Feyerabend’s “against method”

The next meeting will take place on Fr 5.5. at 18:00 at the Tunnel Vienna Live and will be hosted by Moritz:

First, the plan was to cover current views in philosophy of science, because of the last discussion about the wiener Kreis and logical positivism. So I will try to be as recent as my knowledge permits and talk about Paul Feyerabend and his famous book “against method” (well, it was 1975 but I guess that’s recent in philosophy).

To discuss what came after logical positivism, please read a basic overview about Poppers Critical_rationalism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_rationalism (for those of you, who speak german please read the german one because it is much better).

This is necessary to understand Feyerabends criticism of science as ideology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemological_anarchism

And about his interesting life between physics and philosophy i recommend the 5. Chapter of https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feyerabend/#FeyeLateWorkTowaRelaButThenBeyoIt.

Enjoy the reading and I’m looking forward to an interesting discussion!

The Vienna Circle and its Philosophy

The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on Friday 21st April at 6pm at Strudlhofgasse 4. The topic will be the Vienna Circle and its philosophy.

Please read into to material provided below to prepare for the meeting.

Level 1
To get an overview of the Vienna Circle just have a look at the Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Circle

Level 2
For a bit more background there are some sources I can suggest you to look into:

Interview of A.J. Ayer on Logical Positivism and its Legacy : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG0EWNezFl4

Prof. Christian Damböck, who also held a talk on the Symposium, wrote a book about the Vienna Circle (Ausgewählte Texte des wiener Kreis). He published a postface which I strongly suggest you to read (unfortunately in German): Nachwort zu Ausgewählte texte des wiener Kreis:
https://homepage.univie.ac.at/christian.damboeck/texte/Der_Wiener_Kreis-Nachwort.pdf

Level 3
For those of you, that really want to spend more time learning about the Vienna Circle, read the following:

Book (which I will bring with me to the NWC): Sie nannten sich der Wiener Kreis, exaktes denken am rande des Untergangs by Karl Sigmund

and the article of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/vienna-circle/#Per