Sunday, April 13, 2008

Freeman Dyson to Give Public Lectures at Yale: "Three Myths in the Public Perception of Science"

If you are in the New Haven, CT area, you might want to consider attending this series of lectures given by Freeman Dyson.

• “Science Coming to an End,” on Monday, April 14, 2008 — Dyson will explain why he does not agree with some intellectual humanist scholars, most prevalent in Europe, who believe that science was a passing fad that is fortunately now over. This is a joint Leigh Page-Tetelman lecture, sponsored by the Physics Department and Jonathan Edwards College.

• “The Mathematician as an Automaton,” on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 — Dyson will talk about some mathematicians he has known and the different kinds of thinking they do. He divides them into “birds” and “frogs.” Birds fly high and survey the landscape out to the horizon. Frogs live in the mud below and enjoy the beauty of the creatures that they meet there.

• “The Selfish Gene on Thursday,” on April 17, 2008 — Dyson will talk about the relative importance of the individual and the community in language, in law and in science. He asserts that the clash between individual and community values in all three contexts is at the root of many of our ongoing quarrels.

They all sound fascinating. If you attended any or all of these lectures, I'd love to hear a comment from you here.


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