It is my pleasure to introduce the Rotman Institute of Philosophy Events Planning and Outreach Committee (REPOC for short).  REPOC organizes and helps Rotman Institute members carry out public outreach and science education events.

On Tuesday, April 2nd, REPOC held its inaugural event, the first in a series of Science Pub Nights.  At Science Pub Nights, we invite members of the public to engage with and learn about the topic of the month through Q&A with a panel of experts. These informal discussions, plus the casual atmosphere of food and drink, provide an excellent opportunity to engage with exciting contemporary science issues.

At our first Science Pub Night, Philosopher of Physics Dr. Erik Curiel was present to take questions on some of the many fascinating aspects of black holes, and the controversy that surrounds them. The audience discussed with Dr. Curiel the nature of our typical, day-to-day intuitions about space and time, and how our conceptions about space and time in physics changed once Albert Einste

in introduced his theory of relativity. With this new understanding, some of our most fundamental concepts—such as which events are simultaneous and for whom, or how fast material objects can travel—drastically changed. When we consider black holes, the situation gets even stranger; space and time themselves cease to exist in the center of a black hole.  As Dr. Curiel explained, at the center of a black hole (called a “singularity”), the laws of physics break down entirely.  In addition, the discussion also touched on the kinds of methodological insights the early black hole scientists had, and what philosophers and scientists today can learn from them.

Please join us for our next Science Pub Night on Wednesday, May 2nd from

6-9pm at the Morrissey House on Dundas Street. The topic of discussion will be “Math, Music, and the Mind”, lead by Brain and Mind Institute psychologist Jessica Grahn and Daniel Ansari from Western’s Numerical Cognition Laboratory.

Hope to see you there!