Fireside chat @MRS

Posted by on Mar 23, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Scrooge.trimmed

I can hardly believe I'm saying this but I'm really looking forward to MRS conference this week.

Lots of good stuff – from Robert Winston tomorrow – to Charlie Leadbetter and Matt Taylor on Wednesday

The organisers have tried to programme an event which mixes the voices of the community around our immediate interests with those of the world beyond, to encourage us to raise our sights a little.

I'm particularly excited about the session I've been asked to put together with 3 behavioural scientists, sharing some highlights of their recent work:

My chum Alex Bentley (an anthropologist doing amazing stuff at Durham in the field of cultural evolution) will be talking about what he's learned about how behaviours and ideas spread through populations

Biologist Jens Krause will talk about his experiments in crowd and shoaling behaviour (watch out for his robofish!)

Paul Ormerod (one of the most important economists writing today) who's been doing some amazing stuff on understanding underlying network structures

I hope by sharing these little tasters of some of the more important stuff going on out there in the behavioral sciences will help stimulate some rethinking of the community's assumptions about human behaviour that are embedded in our practices.

We've not got a whole heap of time but I''ll try to manage it so that the audience can help us put together a revised set of assumptions – not a definitive one but maybe it'll spark something for you?

Props to Marc B and the MRS conference committee for encouraging this kind of experiment.

See you at 1130 on Thursday?

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