For people living in the UK wanting to explore controversial new ideas in the real world, 200 world-leading scientists, politicians, artists and philosophers, including Lawrence Krauss, Frank Wilczek, Natalie Bennett, Roger Scruton, Sally Phillips, David Chalmers, Owen Jones, Marcus Du Sautoy and many more, are getting together at the end of May at the world’s largest philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.
It’s 11 days of big thinking under the theme ‘The Known, the Strange and the New’ with 700 events and more debates, big names and parties than you can shake a massive hyper-intelligent stick at. Some of the debates taking place include:
Gravity: We all think we know what gravity is. But where gravity comes from stumped Newton and 300 years later we are closer to an explanation. We don’t even have a mathematical account of gravity that applies in all situations. Why is a force so central to the universe so elusive in its character? Theoretical physicist Laura Mersini Houghton, Nobel Prize-winner Frank Wilczek and string theorist Eric Verlinde examine the enigma of gravity.
The Dark Side of the Universe: Nearly twenty years have passed since scientists first proposed a mysterious force, Dark Energy, pushing our universe apart. Yet there is no direct evidence for it or any idea what it might be. Might our theories of the universe be profoundly mistaken or is an explanation of Dark Energy around the corner? Theoretical physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton, M-theorist Michael Duff and computational cosmologist Carlos Frenk chase shadows in the cosmos.
After Doctors: Most of us still think doctor knows best. Yet troublingly a third of all hospital beds are filled with conditions caused by medical intervention. With sophisticated diagnosis just a websearch away is it time to rid ourselves of medical authority? Or do we need doctors more than ever in the chaos of information? Psychiatrist David Nutt, former Secretary of State for Health Stephen Dorrell, radical GP David Healy envisage the future of medical authority. Mary Ann Sieghart hosts.
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