AUC students participate in international interdisciplinary seminar in the UK

4 February 2019

In January 2019, a group of five ÀUC students consisting of Roberto Caiozzo, Iris de Smit, Amber te Winkel, Nilesh Lalbahadoersing and Floris van den Ende participated in the international interdisciplinary seminar "Science and Society: Defining what is human." The conference took place in London and Oxford, and discussed the nature of humanity in an interdisciplinary context with a particular focus on physics and philosophy. The students' participation in the conference was made possible as part of an internship in the context of AUC lecturer Dr. Sebastian De Haro’s Educational Development Initiative.

Three days of interdisciplinary discovery

The conference was designed as a three-day seminar, kicking off with a trip to Oxford and a visit to the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. There the students had the opportunity to have a close look at some of the first writings on Earth as part of a lecture on the history and development of human scripture given by Dr. Paul Collins.

Academic sessions and student presentations on physics

The second and third days consisted of academic sessions in Netherhall House in London. Talks were given by both students and expert researchers on topics that included quantum computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and reductionism in science. Furthermore, an essential part of the conference consisted of engaging discussions, for example on what it means to be human, or how to connect science to religion without downplaying the importance of one or the other. Under the supervision of Prof. dr. Alfred Driessen, the group of AUC students presented on two topics in the field of quantum physics titled Quantum mechanics: getting to know the fundamentals and Multiverse versus the Copenhagen interpretation in quantum physics.

Interaction and support on complex issues

The seminar was organised by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies located in Zürich and Geneva, and Netherhall House located in London. Netherhall House is a residential college offering a structured academic, cultural and social environment for students. This also allowed the conference, open to a select group of people, to have a highly interactive atmosphere between experts and students. The ongoing discussions provided unparalleled support for the success of the seminar while offering the participants a unique experience. 

Published by  Amsterdam University College