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meetings and seminars title 1


Wonderments of Cosmos: A Trans-disciplinary Conversation on Cosmological Horizons

A UCL Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction workshop, convened by Martin Holbraad, Reader in Social Anthropology, Department of Anthropology.

  • The workshop will take place from 2-6pm, Friday, 21 June 2013 in the Daryll Forde Seminar Room, 2nd Floor, UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street.
  • 25 places are available for UCL academics and research students (PhD and MRes)
  • If you are interested, please register for the Wonderments of Cosmos event.

Questions about the origins and contours of the universe and human beings’ position within it are capturing the public’s imagination as never before. Sponsored by the UCL Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction, this half-day workshop brings together scholars from across UCL to present the different ways in which their work engages with the wonderments of cosmos, and explore how these may speak to each other. How far might different approaches to cosmology provide the scope for a genuine cross-disciplinary conversation? How does the scientific study of the cosmos relate to the ways in which its wonders have been engaged in other fields, across history and in different cultural settings? How far might a shared interest in cosmology and questions of ultimate horizons cast in a new light age-old debates about the  relationship between science, religion and art? And how far might it serve to re-cast or even re-negotiate the boundaries between the proverbial ‘two cultures’ of the sciences and the humanities?

The workshop will comprise a number of short presentations by UCL staff working in the natural sciences, social sciences and arts & humanities, followed by a roundtable discussion of the scope and challenges of cross-disciplinary collaboration in this field.


Royal Institution Public Lectures on "Nature and Nature's Laws: how did they come about?"

Associated with the Leverhulme Trust-funded international network "Kant and the Laws of Nature":

  • 4th June, Ofer Lahav (UCL) "The Nature of Dark Energy and Dark Matter: Are New Laws of Physics Required?"
  • 11th June, Chris Smeenk (UWO) "Is Cosmology Possible as a Science?"
  • 18th June, Margaret Morrison (Toronto) "Capturing Reality with Fictional Models".

Details of the program and access to the Ri What's On guide.

Please note: these lectures are open to everyone, and free for students.

Third Origins Networking Event - "Complexity": Mon 3 June 2013

The next in the series of networking events for the Institute of Origins is on the
theme "Complexity".

It will take place on Monday 3 June, from 10.00-12.00, in the Haldane Room.

As usual, this is an informal meeting, with a brief introduction followed by a few
short (10 min) research talks, and the remaining time for discussion and networking
over light refreshments.

The agenda is as follows:

10.00-10.20     Arrival and refreshments
10.20-10.30     Welcome - Ofer Lahav (Vice Dean for Research, MAPS Faculty)
10.30-10.40     "Complexity in Chemistry" - Richard Catlow (Dean, MAPS Faculty)
10.40-10.50     "The Sun's Complexity" - Louise Harra (MSSL)
10.50-11.00     "Biodiversity and life in the balance" - Steve Baigent (Mathematics)
11.00-12.00     Networking and refreshments


CERN will be hosting a TEDx event, with the theme 'Multiplying Dimensions', on Friday 3 May 2013.

Although the TEDxCERN main stage will be in Geneva, the UCL Institute for Origins and Department of Physics and Astronomy are hosting a "simulcast" from 12:30 onwards. Watch the talks live from CERN on a high-quality webcast, hosted by Nobel prize winner George Smoot, discuss the subjects with UCL researchers, and join us for a drinks reception.

Attendance is free, but registration is required. For details, and to register, see the
TEDxCERN@UCL event web page.

Second Origins Networking Event - "Inner Space/Outer Space"

The second in the series of networking events for the MAPS Institute of Origins is on the theme "Inner Space/Outer Space", concerning recent developments in particle astrophysics and cosmology.

It will take place on Friday 25 January, from 3-5pm, in the Haldane Room.

Guest speakers include Nikos Konstantinidis (HEP), Tom Kitching (MSSL) and Filipe Abdalla (Astrophysics).

New series of Institute of Origins Networking Events - the first on the "Origins of Life"

The first of a series of MAPS Institute of Origins networking events, on the theme "The Origins of Life", will take place on Wednesday 31 October, from 3-5pm in the North Cloisters of UCL.

This will be an informal meeting, starting with a brief introduction to MAPS, followed by a few short (10 min) research talks, with the remaining time for discussion and networking over light refreshments.

Guest speakers for the inaugural event include Richard Catlow (Dean of MAPS), Steve Miller (CPS Co-Director), Lewis Dartnell (Astrobiology), Nick Lane (Evolutionary Biochemistry and Bioenergetics) and Giovanna Tinetti (Exoplanets).