A monthly event featuring debates, talks, interviews, music and film. LIVE.

IAI Live July

Monday 3rd July - 17:00 BST

IAI Live July

Michio Kaku, Sabine Hossenfelder, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Juan Maldacena, Max Tegmark, Lisa Randall

We think that we pursue the sciences solely for knowledge and truth. But is this a mistake? Untestable ideals like beauty have been baked into theories throughout the history of science. Paul Dirac, one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, proclaimed "it is more important to have beauty in one's equations than to have them fit experiment." And recently,  Roger Penrose described string theory as a 'fashion', quantum physics as a 'faith', and cosmic inflation a as 'fantasy', arguing that scientists suffer from the very same prejudices that affect the rest of us.

Do we pursue science for a pure desire for the truth? Or should we accept that some beliefs, especially in the foundations of physics, are akin to religious beliefs dressed in mathematical language to give our theories meaning? Or would seeing science as simply another theology undermine the the field and the progress made over the past few centuries?

Closer to truth

This event is in association with Closer to Truth.