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What Breakthroughs in Science Can We Reasonably Predict?

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January 16, 2021 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm CET

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with Olival Freire Jr.

Saturday January 16, 2021
9:00 PST  | 12:00 EST | 18:00 CET

It is much easier to talk about advances in the field of science in the past than to guess about its future. The case of Lord Kelvin’s 1900 statement concerning the two little clouds that still obscured the sky of physics, and that would eventually be resolved into revolutionary theories—special relativity and quantum mechanics—is a well-known example of this. While risky, guesses about the future of science are appealing. Indeed, dramatic change is a recurrent theme in science studies as illustrated by Thomas Kuhn’s ideas on shifting paradigms in scientific revolutions as well as by several other authors who elaborated different views on the subject. Informed guesses about the future of science breakthroughs will be the subject of our conversation.

This online talk will be followed by questions and answers and discussion.

This event has a fee of €10,00 a participant, €9.00 for Friends of The Pari Center.

Professor Olival Freire Jr., professor of physics and history of science

Olival Freire Jr. is Professor of Physics and History of Physics at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil. In Brazil, he was trained in Physics (UFBA), he earned a PhD in History (USP) in 1995 and is fellow at the CNPq in History of Science.

He founded the Graduate Program in Science Teaching, History and Philosophy of Science at UFBA, in Brazil. He served as President of the Sociedade Brasileira de História da Ciência, the Commission on the History of Physics at DHST and as a member of the council of History of Science Society.

He was researcher at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science, MIT, Harvard, Université de Paris VII, University of Maryland, and Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics.

He has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as books and book chapters. He wrote The Quantum Dissidents—Rebuilding the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics 1950-1990, Springer, 2015, and David Bohm—A Life Dedicated to Understanding the Quantum World, Springer, 2019.


January 16, 2021
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CET