What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, scientists are immune to trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of mathematics and physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this lecture, based on his new book, Roger will argue that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential, may be leading today's researchers astray, most notably in three of science's most important areas - string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. Yet Roger will also describe how fashion, faith, and fantasy have, ironically, also been invaluable in shaping his own work. Roger will be signing copies of his book after the lecture.
Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor at the Mathematical Institute in Oxford.
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