Conversations on the Nature of Reality
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - Thursday, February 7, 2019
The New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St Fl 40, New York
The New York Academy of Sciences
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For millennia, humans have sought to answer a seemingly unsolvable problem: What is the relationship between our conscious, subjective experience—what we see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and think—and the physical world that surrounds us? Is the reality of the physical world constructed through our subjective experience, or does the physical world we perceive have an independent, objective reality? To date, no scientific theory has succeeded in unifying consciousness (i.e., conscious experiences) and what we take to be the physical world.
All science aims to understand the fundamental nature of reality through the formulation of hypotheses, the staging of experiments, the detection of patterns, and the discovery of laws and theorems. But this endeavor is not just limited to scientists. Artists, philosophers, novelists, and musicians also aspire to capture and convey the reality of our existence by invoking the realm of subjective emotions and experience. Drawing upon an infinite reservoir of creativity, they express powerful sentiments of love, beauty, hope, fear, loss, imagination, and the human condition.
Led by Steve Paulson, Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, this provocative and engaging three-part series will feature in-depth and wide-ranging conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on the ideas and challenges surrounding the fundamental nature of reality. Each session will present two prominent speakers who share how their personal stories and experiences have come to shape their current thinking and work in their respective fields of expertise.