Unsimple truths: How biological complexity changes our view of nature and science

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 10 June

Conversation room

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

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Standard £12

Concession £8

Associate £6

Free to Members, Faraday Members and Fellows

Event description

Complex systems are built from simpler components: organisms from cells, cells from proteins, and proteins from amino acids. A common, and often successful scientific strategy is to explain a system by first explaining its parts in isolation. Is this always the best approach? Sandra D. Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh) will explore the ways complex systems in biology emerge from their parts, and the role that both historical contingency and dynamic adaptation play in reshaping our understanding of scientific explanation in the life sciences.

This event is now SOLD OUT. To be added to the waiting list, please visit our Eventbrite page. There are still spaces for the last talk in our series focussing on the philosophy of biology: Life as we know it.

This event is generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust international network 'Kant and the Laws of Nature'

About the speaker

Sandra D. Mitchell has been Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh since 2000. Her interests have centred on scientific explanations of complex behaviour, and how we might best represent multi-level, multi-component complex systems.

Guest Curator

This event is part of a series of talks exploring the philosophy of biological complexity, curated by Michela Massimi. She is an expert in Kant, and the intersection between contemporary philosophical problems and scientific practice. Please note that each event is stand-alone so you can attend as many as you wish.

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