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Thu Jan 14, 2010

Liberal Values, Scientific Principles, and Research Communities in Nineteenth-century German-language Science


Location: 208 DeBartolo

Edward Jurkowitz is a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, Berlin. In this paper he traces how leading nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German-speaking natural scientists employed the values and theoretical resources of German liberalism in crafting their scientific methodologies and epistemologies, as well as in pursuing specific scientific projects. Examining the work of Hermann von Helmholtz, Max Planck, and Ernst Mach, he illustrates that these figures drew upon liberal social-political ideas, especially those of objectivity, freedom, and unity, as well as characteristic argumentative strategies, in theorizing the role of natural scientific principles in organizing science. In addition, Jurkowitz indicates how, when they described the psycho-physiological and social processes involved in recognizing scientific laws, as well as the methods of investigation and modes of engagement with other inquirers proper to natural philosophers/scientists, these authors drew upon common liberal resources but turned those to different ends. Comparing the works of Helmholtz, Planck, and Mach suggests how their epistemological views and scientific practices expressed and promoted alternative images of the ideal scientific community, indeed ones particularly suited, respectively, to the north-German lands, the unified German Reich, and the Habsburg cultural-political contexts.…

Thu Feb 11, 2010

Fighting World Hunger: Shaping Phase II of the Green Revolution


Location: Hesburgh Center Auditorium, Hesburgh Center for International Studies

Margaret Carroll Boardman is a Reilly Center visiting scholar. This talk is cosponsored by the International Development Research Council.

Abstract: The U.N. World Food Program estimates that one sixth of the human population suffers from lack of nutritious food. Population experts predict that by 2050 the world population will increase from 6 to close to 9 billion. Not only will world hunger increase but it will be magnified as certain areas of the world deplete their groundwater resources.

Tue Feb 23, 2010

Thu Mar 25, 2010



Location: Philbin Studio Theatre, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Tim Hardy

Galileo is a one-man play celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s discoveries and exploring the tensions between science and religion through one man’s struggle for intellectual and spiritual salvation. (In honor of Galileo’s 400th anniversary, 2009 has been named the International Year of Astronomy: http://www.astronomy2009.org/

Fri Mar 26, 2010

Culture and Evolutionary Change


Location: 220 Malloy Hall

Peter Godfrey-Smith Department of Philosophy, Harvard University

I look at how 'Darwinian' ideas might be applied to cultural change at several different scales. These scales are related to the distinction between 'micro' and 'macro' evolution in biology. Three case studies are described: models of the evolution of cooperation through imitation, work on the accumulation of knowledge and skills through social learning, and investigation of tree-structures present in the evolution of certain languages. The talk is non-technical.…

Thu Apr 1, 2010

Analogy and Cognitive Style in the Process of Invention: The Roots of Inventor Stanford Ovshinsky’s Alternative Energy Genius


Location: 208 DeBartolo

Lillian Hoddeson Department of History, University of Illinois

Studies in cognitive science show analogy to be a motor of cognition.  This talk argues that analogy may also be among the most important motors of human invention.  The career of the self-educated tool-maker Stanford Ovshinsky, in time a prolific Detroit-based inventor, illustrates how cross-disciplinary analogy-making can lead to pioneering invention. 

Wed Apr 28, 2010

Decoherence and Reality *The Cushing Memorial Lecture*


Location: 117 DeBartolo

Jos Uffink Institute for History and Foundations of Science, University of Utrecht (Netherlands)

This talk will review the implications of the program of "environment-induced decoherence" for the foundations of quantum mechanics, in particular for the so-called "measurement problem". In the first part of the talk I will try to explain how environment-induced decoherence is supposed to address this problem, or at least part of it. As is well known, decoherence cannot solve the part known as the "problem of outcomes" in quantum measurements, but it is generally believed to solve the so-called "preferred basis problem".

Mon May 10, 2010

Tue May 11, 2010

Wed May 12, 2010

Wed Jul 21, 2010

Mon Aug 30, 2010

Thu Sep 16, 2010

A Reliable, 100% Renewable US Electricity System


Location: 283 Galvin

Arjun Makhijani Presideny, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

Dr. Makhijani received his Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a former professor at Harvard, and President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. He is a winner of the Lehman, Martin, Nuclear-free Future, and Ploughshares

Tue Sep 21, 2010

Reducing Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles: An Insider's Look at US-Russia Negotiations


Location: Hesburgh Center Auditorium

Rose Gottemoeller Assistant Secretary of State

Gottemoeller was chief negotiator of the New START treaty to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles in the U.S. and Russia. She will discuss the terms of the new treaty, its impact on U.S.-Russia relations, and its implications for national and international security.

Sat Sep 25, 2010

Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry


Location: 101 Jordan Hall

John Warner Co-founder, CTO, Chairman of the Board, Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry

Warner is the co-founder, chief technology officer and chairman of the board of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. Warner, who co-authored the seminal book “Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice,” will discuss green chemistry and how it is used to reduce the use and/or generation of hazardous substances in the design phase of materials development. Warner holds more than 100 patents and has worked extensively in the areas of semiconductor design, biodegradable plastics, personal care products and polymeric photoresists.

Tue Nov 2, 2010

Talking About Killer Apps


Location: Andrews Auditorium, Geddes Hall

Peter Singer.

Peter Singer is the author of Wired for War. This event is co-sponsored by the Reilly Center’s Emerging Technologies for National Security and Intelligence project and the NDISP  (ND International Security Program).…

Thu Nov 4, 2010

History of Science Society Comes to University of Notre Dame


The History of Science Society (HSS) has arrived at Notre Dame—a move that promises to benefit the society, the University’s History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) program and Notre Dame’s science programs by providing new opportunities for collaboration among society members, faculty, and students. For more information, read the press release at http://al.nd.edu/news/17369-history-of-science-society-comes-to-university-of-notre-dame/

Thu Nov 11, 2010

There Are No Such Things as Theories


Location: 208 DeBartolo

Steven French Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds

What are scientific theories, qua objects? The so-called 'Received View' identified them with sets of sentences, closed under deduction. The deficiencies in this view helped motivate the so- called 'semantic' or model-theoretic approach which has been understood as identifying theories with families of set-theoretic models. The problems with such an understanding can be avoided by insisting that this approach should be taken only as offering a means of representing features of scientific practice. This leaves our initial question unanswered. One option is to adopt a quietist stance and insist that answering such questions does not further the aims of the philosophy of science. The question now is, how are we then to make sense of our talk about theories - their truth, empirical adequacy, or other qualities and virtues in general? Here we can appeal to various moves made in metaphysics when one needs to talk about items that are not in one's fundamental ontology. Some of these moves have been imported into discusssions of the ontological status of artworks, such as pieces of music, and obvious comparisons and contrasts can be drawn with the ontological status of theories. My aim in this paper is to consider the viability of such metaphysical manoeuvres in this context and to explore the suggestion that what counts as 'fundamental ontology' for the philosophy of science does not include theories, models and the like, but rather, sets of practices.…

Fri Nov 12, 2010

Wed Nov 17, 2010

Thu Nov 18, 2010

Fri Nov 19, 2010

Sat Nov 20, 2010

Fri Dec 3, 2010

Innovation in the control of the neglected tropical diseases


Location: 105 Jordan Hall

Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph. D. Distinguished Research Professor, George Washington University

Dr. Hotez has particular expertise in 1) vaccine development for hookworm and other human helminth infections and 2) global policies and advocacy for the control and elimination of the human helminth infections and other neglected tropical diseases. His research focuses on the discovery, development and evaluation of technologies for treatment and eradication of neglected tropical diseases, specifically vaccines, diagnostics and drugs. Currently, he serves as the Principal Scientist of the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative (HHVI), a public private partnership sponsored by the Sabin Vaccine Institute with major funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Hotez is a leading advocate and educator in the area of NTDs, particularly in his work for PLoS.