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profile Max Tegmark

A native of Stockholm, Tegmark left Sweden in 1990 after receiving his B.Sc. in Physics from the Royal Institute of Technology (he’d earned a B.A. in Economics the previous year at the Stockholm School of Economics). His first academic venture beyond Scandinavia brought him to California, where he studied physics at the University of California, Berkeley, earning his M.A. in 1992, and Ph.D. in 1994. After four years of west coast living, Tegmark returned to Europe and accepted an appointment as a research associate with the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik in Munich. In 1996 he headed back to the U.S. as a Hubble Fellow and member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Tegmark remained in New Jersey for a few years until an opportunity arrived to experience the urban northeast with an Assistant Professorship at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received tenure in 2003. He extended the east coast experiment and moved north of Philly to the shores of the Charles River (Cambridge-side), arriving at MIT in September 2004. He is married to Meia-Chita Tegmark and has two sons, Philip and Alexander. Tegmark is an author on more than two hundred technical papers, and has featured in dozens of science documentaries. He has received numerous awards for his research, including a Packard Fellowship (2001-06), Cottrell Scholar Award (2002-07), and an NSF Career grant (2002-07), and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His work with the SDSS collaboration on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine’s "Breakthrough of the Year: 2003." (source: The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited)

profile Huw Price

Huw Price is Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy and a Fellow of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He is Academic Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, and was founding Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, which he established in 2012 with Martin Rees and Jaan Tallinn. Before moving to Cambridge he was ARC Federation Fellow and Challis Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, where from 2002—2012 he was Director of the Centre for Time. His publications include Facts and the Function of Truth (Blackwell, 1988; 2nd. edn. OUP, forthcoming), Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point (OUP, 1996), Naturalism Without Mirrors (OUP, 2011) and a range of articles in journals such as Nature, Science, Philosophical Review, Journal of Philosophy, Mind, and British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. He is also co-editor (with Richard Corry) of Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited (OUP, 2007). His René Descartes Lectures (Tilburg, 2008) were published as Expressivism, Pragmatism and Representationalism (CUP, 2013), with commentary essays by Simon Blackburn, Robert Brandom, Paul Horwich and Michael Williams. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow and former Member of Council of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and a Past President of the Australasian Association of Philosophy. He was consulting editor for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy from 1995–2006, and is an associate editor of The Australasian Journal of Philosophy and a member of the editorial boards of Contemporary Pragmatism, Logic and Philosophy of Science, the Routledge International Library of Philosophy, and the European Journal for Philosophy of Science. (source:

profile Sir Roger Penrose

Sir Roger Penrose, was born in England, in Colchester, August 8, 1931. His parents were both highly educated. His mother Margaret Feathe was a doctor, and his father, Lionel Sharples Penrose, was a medical geneticist who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He and his brothers Oliver and Jonathan all went into the sciences. Jonathan became a psychologist, while Oliver, the eldest, became a mathematician. In 1939 Roger's father went to the United States with his family but as all the indications pointed towards the outbreak of war, he decided not to return to England with his family but accepted an appointment in a hospital in London, Ontario, Canada. Roger attended school in London, Ontario but although it was during this period that he first became interested in mathematics it was not his schooling which stimulated this interest, rather it was his family. Roger's father became Director of Psychiatric Research at the Ontario Hospital in London Ontario, but he was very interested in mathematics, particularly geometry, while Roger's mother was also interested in geometry. In 1945, after the World War II ended, the Penrose family returned to England. Roger's father was appointed as Professor of Human Genetics at University College London and Roger attended University College School in London. Then his interest in mathematics began to increase but his family saw him following in his father's footsteps and taking up a medical career. However, as was typical in schools at this time, biology and mathematics were alternatives at the University College School with pupils having to choose one or the other. Penrose entered University College London which he was entitled to do without paying fees since his father was professor there. He was awarded a B.Sc. degree with First Class Honours in Mathematics and then decided to go to Cambridge to undertake research in pure mathematics. He was following in the footsteps of his older brother Oliver who had also taken his undergraduate degree at University College London and had gone to Cambridge to undertake research but Oliver had chosen physics. Roger, however, was set on research in mathematics and on entering St. John's College he began research in algebraic geometry. Penrose was awarded his Ph.D. for his work in algebra and geometry from the University of Cambridge in 1957 but by this time he had already become interested in physics. In 1964 Penrose was appointed as a Reader at Birkbeck College, London and two years later he was promoted to Professor of Applied Mathematics there. In 1973 he was appointed Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and he continued to hold this until he became Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics in 1998. In that year he was appointed Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. His research interests include many aspects of geometry, having made contributions to the theory of non-periodic tilings, to general relativity theory and to the foundations of quantum theory. While Penrose received his Ph.D. at Cambridge in algebraic geometry, he began to work on the problem of whether a set of shapes could be found which would tile a surface but without generating a repeating pattern (known as quasi-symmetry). Armed with only a notebook and pencil, Penrose set about developing sets of tiles that produce 'quasi-periodic' patterns; at first glance the pattern seems to repeat regularly, but on closer examination you find it is not quite so. Eventually he found a solution to the problem but it required many thousands of different shapes. After years of research and careful study, he successfully reduced the number to six and later down to an incredible two. It turned out this was a problem that couldn't be solved computationally. Penrose triangleAlso, in 1954 he and his father published article in British Journal of Psychology about basic impossible figures: impossible triangle and endless staircase. In the article impossible triangle (also known as tribar) was represented in its common view with perspective effect. These impossible figures were used in lithographs of holland artist M.C. Escher. Penrose believes thet the brain can execute processes that no possible Turing-type computer could carry out. He is famous for his books on consciousness such as "The Emporer's New Mind" (1989). He also considers physics incomplete because there is as yet no theory of quantum gravity. Penrose hopes that an adequate theory of quantum gravity might contribute to explain the nature and emergence of consciousness. In this sense, his main research program in physics is to develop the theory of twistors, which he originated over 30 years ago as an attempt to unite Einstein's general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics. Sir Roger Penrose Penrose has received many honours for his contributions. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1972) and a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences (1998). The Science Book Prize (1990) which he received for The Emperor's New Mind but this is only one of many prizes. Others include the Adams Prize from Cambridge University; the Wolf Foundation Prize for Physics (jointly with Stephen Hawking for their understanding of the universe); the Dannie Heinemann Prize from the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics; the Royal Society Royal Medal; the Dirac Medal and Medal of the British Institute of Physics; the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society; the Naylor Prize of the London Mathematical Society; and the Albert Einstein Prize and Medal of the Albert Einstein Society. In 1994 he was knighted for services to science. In 18th January 2006 Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, has received the 2006 Communications Award of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) in the US. Presented annually, the award recognises outstanding achievement in communicating about mathematics to nonmathematicians. (source: Impossible World)

profile Paavo Pylkkänen

Paavo Pylkkänen, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Theoretical Philosophy and Director of the Bachelor’s Program in Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. He is also Associate Professor of Theoretical Philosophy (currently on leave) at the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of Skövde, where he initiated a Consciousness Studies Program. His main research areas are philosophy of mind, philosophy of physics and their intersection. The central problem in philosophy of mind is how to understand the place of mind – and especially conscious experience – in the physical world. Pylkkänen has explored whether this problem can be approached in a new way in the framework of the new holistic and dynamic worldview that is emerging from quantum theory and relativity. He has in particular been inspired by the physicists David Bohm and Basil Hiley’s interpretation of quantum theory and has collaborated with both of them. In his 2007 book Mind, Matter and the Implicate Order (Springer) he proposed that Bohmian notions such as active information and implicate order provide new ways of approaching key problems in philosophy of mind, such as mental causation and time consciousness. The overall aim of his research is to develop a scientific metaphysics. Paavo Pylkkänen has been a visiting researcher in Stanford University, Oxford University, London University, Charles University Prague and Gothenburg University and is a member of the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in the Philosophy of Social Sciences (TINT). (source: Wikipedia)

profile Ana María Cetto

Prof. Ana María Cetto, Research professor of the Institute of Physics and lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Ana María Cetto is a full-time research Professor at the Institute of Physics, and lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She holds an M.A. in Biophysics from Harvard University and a M.S c and Ph.D in Physics from UNAM. Her main field of research is theoretical physics, with emphasis on the foundations of quantam mechanics, where she has contributed substantially to the development of stochastic electrodynamics. She is co-author of "The Quantum Dice" (Kluwer, 1996). Prof. Cetto is the former Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, and former head of the Theoretical Physics Department at the Institute of Physics. She chaired the project for the Museum on Light (UNAM), inaugurated in 1996. She served as consultant for the UNESCO World Conference of Science (1999). From 2003 to 2010 she served as Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (Nobel Peace Prize 2005), where she headed the Department of Technical Cooperation. She is founding President of LATINDEX, online information system for Ibero-American and Caribbean scholary journals. Prof Cetto has held honorary positions in a number of international organisations, such as the Executive Boards of Interciencia Association, Third World Organisation for Women in Science (TWOWS, Co-founder) and International Council for Science (ICSU), the Board of Trustees of International Foundation for Science (IFS), the Governing Board of United Nations University (UNU), the Council of International Network of Engineers and Scientists (INES) and the Executive Committee of Pugwash Conferences (Nobel Peace Prize 1995). She was appointed Mexico's Woman of the Year in 2003.