Emergence in Cosmology Workshop

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

The early universe is described extremely well by linear perturbations evolving in a simple expanding universe model, described by classical general relativity.  An approximately scale invariant spectrum of nearly Gaussian, adiabatic curvature fluctuations accounts for observed anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background as well as baryon acoustic oscillations.  But how does this familiar classical [...]

Self-locating Uncertainty in the Cosmological Multiverse Workshop

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

Several issues in cosmology have increasingly raised concerns about self-locating uncertainty.  It seems to many that to understand how the universe originated and how it is, we need to better understand how to think about where we are in it, or where we should expect ourselves to be.  On one hand, considerations of self-locating [...]

Stewardship of Global Collective Behavior

A cohort of research and knowledge exchange networks are co-hosting a journal club discussion on the proposal that the science of collective human behavior should be considered a "crisis discipline." Read the paper and join us for the conversation. Advance registration is required and can be completed on the CAS Lab event page. Event [...]

Race and Racism

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

In the past year and a half, race and racism have been at the forefront of many people’s minds because of widespread Black Lives Matter protests and the disproportionately negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on certain racialized communities. But the underlying phenomenon is not only recent. For centuries, racialized communities across [...]

Artificial Intelligence, Harm, and You

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

To celebrate the official launch of Western's Interdisciplinary Development Initiative exploring the real-world social impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) in Canada and around the world, join us for a virtual panel discussion on the harms algorithms can cause, and the launch of a poster exploring the impacts of AI on the daily life of [...]

Evan Thompson: Consciousness and Dreamless Sleep

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

ABSTRACT New research suggests that deep and dreamless sleep may not be a blackout state in which consciousness is absent, but instead a state in which various kinds of conscious states may occur. This lecture will present an overview of current thinking about sleep and consciousness from the perspectives of cognitive neuroscience, the science [...]

Massimiliano Simons: Synthetic biology as a technoscience

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

Join the Rotman Synthetic Biology Reading Group for a meeting with Massimiliano Simons for a discussion of his 2021 paper, "Synthetic biology as a technoscience: The case of minimal genomes and essential genes". Individuals interested in attending the talk need not participate in the reading group, but will need to register to receive a link [...]

Stefan Linquist: Genome-Level Ecology

Room 7107 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, London, ON

Join the Rotman Synthetic Biology Reading Group for a meeting with Stefan Linquist for a discussion of his research on genome-level ecology. Individuals interested in attending the talk need not participate in the reading group, but will need to register in advance. This will be a hybrid event with in-person or virtual attendance options. [...]

Ann-Sophie Barwich – How Biology Perceives Chemistry: A Causal Analysis of the Stimulus in Olfaction and its Implications for Scientific and Philosophical Theorizing

Room 7107 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, London, ON

Join the Rotman Institute of Philosophy for a work in progress seminar with Dr. Ann-Sophie Barwich. Please note this event is intended for an academic audience. For details on the accompanying public lecture, please visit: Ann-Sophie Barwich – The Cinderella of the Senses: Smell as a Window into Mind and Brain. Abstract: [...]

Ann-Sophie Barwich – The Cinderella of the Senses: Smell as a Window into Mind and Brain

Room 1170 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, London, Ontario

Join the Rotman Institute of Philosophy for a talk by Dr. Ann Sophie-Barwich related to her recent book, Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind (Harvard University Press, 2020). Pending changes due to the evolving COVID situation, this event is planned to be hybrid, with both in-person and virtual attendance options. Please see below [...]

Rotman Graduate Student Conference (RGSC2022): Models and Idealizations

Room 1170 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, London, Ontario

The Rotman Institute of Philosophy is excited to announce the second annual Rotman Graduate Student Conference, taking place on Thursday May 12 and Friday May 13, 2022. We are pleased to announce Philosopher, Dr. Angela Potochnik (University of Cincinnati) and Professor of Astronomy, Dr. Sarah Gallagher (Western University) as our keynote speakers. This will [...]

Dangerous Ideas Seminars

Room 1170 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, London, Ontario

Beginning in May 2022, the Rotman Institute of Philosophy will be hosting a monthly 'Dangerous Ideas Seminar'! This seminar is an open forum for scientists and philosophers to share their latest "dangerous idea," with their fellow colleagues. These events are a venue to openly challenge long-held views in science and philosophy, by inspiring lively [...]

QISS 2022: Quantum Information and Quantum Gravity Conference

CONFERENCE DESCRIPTION The Quantum Information Structure of Spacetime (QISS) interdisciplinary initiative in Quantum Information and Quantum Gravity is announcing its first large conference, QISS 2022, to be held at Western University, in London, Ontario, Canada, the week of 6 - 10 June 2022. The main aim of the conference will be to [...]

LMP 2022 Graduate Student Conference

The 21st annual Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics, and Physics Graduate Conference will take place on June 11-12, 2022, in a hybrid format. LMP 2022 will bring together philosophers of logic, mathematics, and physics for two days of presentations and discussions with some of the leaders in these fields. We are pleased to announce that [...]

Rotman Dialogue with James Wilson: Philosophy for Public Health and Public Policy

Room 4190 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, Room 4190, London, Ontario

Making wise ethical choices is difficult. So, a crucial task of ethical theory is to make such decision-making easier, but without falsifying, or over-simplifying the choices to be made. The difficult question is what counts as good simplification, and what counts as over-simplification. This Rotman Dialogue discusses the theory and practice of making ethical public [...]

James Wilson: What makes a health system good? From cost-effectiveness analysis to ethical optimisation in health systems

Room 1170 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, London, Ontario

Abstract Fair allocation of scarce healthcare resources has been much studied within philosophy and bioethics, but analysis has focused on a narrow range of cases. The Covid-19 pandemic provided significant new challenges, making powerfully visible the extent to which health systems can be fragile, and how scarcities within crucial elements of interlinked care pathways [...]

Philosophical Perspectives on Astrochemistry

Room 3000 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western University, London, Ontario

Astrochemistry is a young discipline, which started with the unexpected detection of molecules in the interstellar medium in the 1940’s. Astrochemical models aim at describing the physicochemical processes explaining the composition in the interstellar medium or of planetary atmospheres, despite the fact that the models and the observations against which they must be validated are highly uncertain. These uncertainties, [...]

Time and Memory: 2022 Annual Library Lecture Series (OCT 27: CANCELLED)

Stevenson & Hunt Room A - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

EVENT DESCRIPTION Each year, the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Department of Philosophy at Western University organize a public lecture series, co-sponsored with the London Public Library. The theme for this year's lecture series is time and memory. How do we experience and measure time or form memories of the past? Across a [...]

Space as a National Asset for Canada – #SNAC2022

Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre 551 Windermere Road, London, Ontario

Bringing together stakeholders from universities, government, industry, and community organizations that develop and utilize space to assess the current status of space infrastructure and identify future needs for Canada.

Nicole Nelson: Is animal behavior genetics reductionist?

Abstract: Critics of behavior genetics have often argued that it is an inappropriately reductionist research agenda, operating at a level of analysis that is too far removed from the organismal, social, and cultural settings that produce behaviors. These critiques are at odds with behavior geneticists’ self-descriptions of their approach, which they contend is sensitive [...]