The 2015 Royal Institution of Great Britain public lectures will feature:
1st June 2015: Prof. Hasok Chang, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.
If you can spray phlogiston, is it real?
In the first of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi, Hasok Chang discusses how we should understand cases from the history of science in which scientists were confident that they were directly manipulating entities which modern science considers nonexistent. The chemistry of “phlogiston” from the 18th century provides an excellent example.
2nd June 2015: Dr. Victoria Martin, Reader in particle physics at the University of Edinburgh. Working on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.
Big bucks for big bosons: Should we still be paying for the Large Hadron Collider?
Victoria Martin, leader of the Higgs boson research team at the University of Edinburgh, will discuss the Large Hadron Collider, the Higgs boson and what’s the point of continuing to run the world’s largest and most expensive experiment for the next decade. This is the second of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi.
3rd June 2015: Dr. Jane Calvert, Reader in Science Technology and Information Studies at the University of Edinburgh; and Prof. Alistair Elfick, Professor in the synthetic and systems biology group at the University of Edinburgh, and Personal Chair in Synthetic Biological Engineering
Biology appears to be less law-like than its sister sciences, but could we change this with design? Jane Calvert and Alistair Elfick discuss synthetic biology, an emergent discipline that aims to rationally design and fabricate biological devices; and how applying engineering principles to living systems might help us harness the power of the natural world. This is the final of three guest-curated talks by Michela Massimi.