Institute for the Physics of Living Systems


IPLS Discussion Evening- 'A pint at the interface'

24 January 2017, 6:30 pm


Event Information

Open to



The Orchard Room, upstairs in The Green Man (36 Riding House Street, W1W 7EP).

The aim of this bi-monthly event is to discuss together our practice of science, especially of interdisciplinary, in the warm atmosphere of a pub. Each session addresses a theme. A round of free drinks will be provided.

By essence, because of the various backgrounds and cultures of the actors (physicists/biologists, theorists/experimentalists, for example) interdisciplinary work comprises some misunderstanding. Though it is part of the exciting bit of it, this can sometimes create frustrations and failures. The objective of this discussion club is to explore together the roots of our disciplines and debate our everyday experience in order to better understand each other and the meaning of our work.

This month, Pilar Guerrero Contreras (UCL, department of Mathematics) and Gabriel Galea (UCL, Institute of Child Health) will ask whether understanding of living systems is better achieved through simplification or complexification. We usually see biologists tending to add layers of complexity to their system, dissecting out the minutiae of details which may or may not be important 'mechanisms'. Conversely, physicists and their modeling approach lean toward simplifying this complexity into the smallest number of discrete parameters. How to integrate these antagonist approaches into an harmonious collaboration is the question we will debate together. Pilar and Gabriel will base their presentation on their respective vision of neural tube formation, a phenomenon they address through modelling and experiments respectively, in their current work.

If you have any questions please contact Jonathan Fouchard (j.fouchard@ucl.ac.uk).