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Sydney Talk Next Monday

Just a reminder that you can see Geraint Lewis and myself talking at Westmead in Sydney next Monday, 5th December. It’s free!

Why are we here? Physics and the Fortunate Universe

Professor Geraint Lewis and Dr Luke Barnes, authors of A Fortunate Universe, offer to take you on a tour of the cosmos, demonstrating that humanity appears to be part of a remarkable set of circumstances involving a special time around a special planet, which orbits a special star, all within a specially constructed universe. It is these sets of conditions that have allowed humans to ponder our place in space and time.

A Sydney Ideas, Westmead forum
Co-presented with School of Physics, Faculty of Science
Date: Monday 5 December, 2016
Time: 5.30 to 7pm
Venue: Conference Room, Westmead Institute
176 Hawkesbury Rd
Westmead NSW
Cost: Free and open to all with online registration requested.

More details can be found here.

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Free! Register here!

Hosted by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, join authors Geraint Lewis and Luke Barnes on a scientific journey to the amazing conclusion that our universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life. A presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, Q&A, and an opportunity to meet the authors.

Messel Lecture Theatre,
Sydney Nanoscience Hub
The University of Sydney
25th Nov 2016, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

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Talking book things, here are a few relevant events and interviews for your perusal.

Sydney Ideas Talk: Why Are We Here? Physics and the Fortunate Universe

Geraint and I will be speaking at the Sydney Ideas event “Why Are We Here? Physics and the Fortunate Universe” at the Westmead Institute. They’re a hospital, as all Sydney-siders will know, but interested in public lectures on scientific topics more widely.

Date: 5 December, 5:30-7pm
Location: Westmead Institute, Sydney
Cost: Free, but be sure to register here.

STEMpunk Podcast Episode

Geraint and I recently sat down with Tom, Christie and Shane from the outstanding STEMpunk podcast to talk about the book and all things science and such, including the curly question ‘What role should science have in politics?’. You can find the episode online here, or (even better) subscript to STEMpunk on iTunes here.

Unbelievable Radio: Multiverse Show 2

I also had a chat recently with the philosopher Max Andrews about the multiverse, on Justin Brierly’s Unbelievable radio show. The show was partly in response to a previous episode about the multiverse that featured Phil Harper and Jeff Zweerink. I raised a few worries that I had about the multiverse, which are discussed in more detail in our book. You can listen to the episode here.

 

We’ve got more events coming up, so stay tuned!

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Meanwhile, in Cambridge …

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Having spent many hours perusing that marvellous shop, this photo is pretty darn great.

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On the 24-25 November, 2016, Geraint Lewis and I will be running the 2016 Fine-tuning, the Multiverse and Life Workshop, hosted at the University of Sydney. We’re hoping to get a good crowd of physicists, astronomers and philosophers together to chat about these interesting issues.

Register now!

Abstract: Issues of fine-tuning and naturalness are central to evaluating such physical and cosmological theories as inflation and extension to the Standard model of particle physics, including supersymmetry. In addition, our values of the fundamental constants of nature have the seemingly rare ability to support the complexity required by life. This has become an important way to test multiverse theories: the predicted observed value of fundamental “constants” depends on the values that permit the existence of observers.

In light of these challenges, this workshop will bring together physicists, cosmologists, astronomers and philosophers of science for two days of invited and contributed talks, and discussion sessions. Topics covered will include:

  • The nature of fundamental constants,
  • Physical theories of the multiverse,
  • How to reason with (or, perhaps, avoid altogether) anthropic principles,
  • Fine-tuning as it relates to the foundations of science and metaphysics,
  • The role of probability theory in evaluating cases of fine-tuning and naturalness, and
  • The conditions for life and complexity in the universe.

Venue: Sydney Nanoscience Hub, School of Physics, University of Sydney

Date: Thursday 24 – Friday 25 November, 2016.

Places are limited to 60 attendees.

Note that this is immediately before the 2016 International Symposium on Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (COSPA), also hosted at the University of Sydney, 28 Nov – 02 Dec 2016.

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Here’s a brief discussion of some of the questions raised (and some even answered!) in A Fortunate Universe, recorded during a visit to Cambridge University Press in May.

It’s available Now!
eBook: http://www.amazon.com/Fortunate-Unive…
Hardback: https://www.bookdepository.com/Fortun…

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Cambridge University Press’s blog, fifteeneightyfour, has published a sneak peek of part of Chapter 1 of A Fortunate Universe. You can find it here.

The eBook is available from Amazon, and the hardback from Book Depository.

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