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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

3rd Meeting of the 191st Session (2011-2012)

Science and Subjectivity

Professor John Brown
Astronomer Royal for Scotland

In the Augustine United Church
41 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh, EH1 1EL
On Monday 5th December 2011, at 7pm

Confusion abounds as to what science is, what science is not, and what is not science. The confusion exists not only in the general community, and in the media but also among some scientists. Subjective factors such ego-driven righteousness, and the finance-driven pressure to publish or perish and to be perceived to be right, can cloud the objectivity of scientists today. I will discuss some of these issues concerning what science and scientists are and are not, drawing on examples ranging from observational uncertainty and quantum mechanics to the fanatical preaching of atheism in the name of reason.

John Brown is Astronomer Royal for Scotland. He recently retired as Glasgow's 10th Regius Professor of Astronomy. His has published around 300 research papers on solar flares, hot star winds, comets and meteors, and has held fellowships in 17 institutions worldwide He is the 10th individual, the third Scot, and the first non-Edinburgh professor, to hold the ARfS title, founded in 1834. In that capacity, he gives frequent talks to schools, public, and societies, often demonstrating points via conjuring, which is one if his several arts and crafts interest . In 2003, he received an award from the UK Institute of Physics for his outreach work.

Location of meeting

Members of the Public are welcome to attend

Jane Ridder-Patrick, Secretary
Telephone: 0131 556 2161

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