Sunday, September 22, 2019 11:40 am - 1:00 pm
Matthew Stanley / New York University
Scientists like to talk more about what they know than what they don’t know – things they are sure about rather than the mysteries. Hundreds of years of discoveries and insights are good reasons for this. But it is the unknowns at the edge of science that drive some of the most exciting research being done today. We do not know if we are alone in the universe, what the nature of consciousness is, where life came from, or why you are made of protons and electrons.
Those persistent mysteries, rather than causing us to question science, can help us understand how science works. They can help us ask deeper questions about how we know what we know, and why some things we don’t.
Matthew Stanley teaches the history and philosophy of science at NYU. He holds degrees in astronomy, religion, physics, and the history of science and is interested in the connections between science and the wider culture. He is the author of “Practical Mystic: Religion, Science, and A. S. Eddington” which examines how scientists reconcile their religious beliefs and professional lives. He has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, the British Academy, and the Max Planck Institute. Professor Stanley was awarded a 2014-2015 Gallatin Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.