Question: For the Sake of Knowledge: Why do Scientific Research?
Date: 24th January 2017
Prof. Cigdem Issever (Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford)
Prof. Peter Atkins (Supernumerary Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford)
Max Jamily (DPhil in Synthetic Biology)
Chair: Prateek Katti (DPhil in Medical Engineering)
Organiser: Heather Mann (DPhil in History)
Professor Peter Atkins is a Supernumerary Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford. His research focused upon the application of quantum mechanics to chemical problems and theoretical aspects of magnetic resonance. He has authored nearly 70 books in his extensive field of expertise. The best known of these is Physical Chemistry, now in its ninth edition; it is used throughout the world and has been translated into many languages. His other major textbooks include Inorganic Chemistry, Molecular Quantum Mechanics, Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences, and Elements of Physical Chemistry. He also writes books on science for the general public, including The Periodic Kingdom, The Second Law, Creation Revisited, and Galileo’s Finger: the ten great ideas of science. One of these books, Molecules, was described as ‘one of the most beautiful chemistry books ever written’. His most recent book of this kind is Four Laws that Drive the Universe (2007), which has recently been reissued as The Laws of Thermodynamic – a Very Short Introduction.
Professor Cigdem Issever is a particle physicist, member of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN and head of the Oxford Exotics Group. Her current research interests are the search for Dark Matter mediator particles in jet final states: in di-jet, multi-jet and di-Higgs final states. She actively works on the calibration and performance studies of jets in the ATLAS detector with the focus on extremely energetic jets (TeV-jets) and large area jets important for the searches with highly boosted particles. In addition to searching for new physics beyond the Standard Model, her long term goal is to measure the Higgs self-coupling at the LHC using di-Higgs final states.
Max Jamily (DPhil Synthetic Biology) will discuss the social benefits of Science, with the big claim that, ‘In time, biological research may even transform our understanding of what it means to be human’. Max will be addressing curiosity, which brings us together, drives us to find out more about the world, to challenge our assumptions and improve our quality of life. But controversially, suggest science is worthwhile only as long as it continues to produce technologies whose benefit to society outweighs their cost.