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Upcoming Lectures

Humble Before The Void: Western Science Meets Tibetan Buddhism

Chris Impey

SURPRISE, DELIGHT, AND UNBRIDLED MIRTH are not commonly encountered in the science classroom. But in the foothills of the Himalaya, at a program to teach cosmology to Buddhist monks by the University of Arizona astronomer Chris Impey, they were daily occurrences. Working with this unique audience spurred new ways of thinking about the universe and the art of teaching. This talk takes listeners on an adventure at the nexus of science, religion, philosophy, and culture. Dr. Impey studies quasars and distant galaxies and is the author of How it Began, How it Ends, and The Living Cosmos, and has won 11 teaching awards.

Order Humble Before The Void from Amazon.

A book signing will follow the lecture.

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away

Dr. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

STEPHEN HAWKING SAID PHILOSOPHY IS DEAD. Plato would disagree, says the acclaimed philosopher and novelist Rebecca Goldstein, who provides a dazzlingly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics, and science. Philosophy is not obsolete, and the ancient questions that Plato asked are still relevant in the age of cosmology and neuroscience, crowd-sourcing and cable news. Imagine that Plato came to life in the 21st century and embarked on a multicity speaking tour. How would he handle the host of a cable news program who denies there can be morality without religion? How would he mediate a debate between a Freudian psychoanalyst and a tiger mom on how to raise the perfect child? How would he answer a neuroscientist who, about to scan Plato’s brain, argues that science has definitively answered the questions of free will and moral agency? What would Plato make of Google, and of the idea that knowledge can be crowd-sourced rather than reasoned out by experts? With a philosopher’s depth and a novelist’s imagination and wit, Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us by allowing us to eavesdrop on Plato as he takes on the modern world. Order Plato at the Googleplex from Amazon.

A book signing will follow the lecture.

Admission Policy for Baxter Hall

Due to security concerns, Baxter Hall will be locked and the audience will be admitted only through the doors on the South side of the building by the lily ponds. If, for medical reasons, you cannot climb the stairs to the hall on the 2nd floor, someone at the main entrance (located in the middle of the West side of the building) will escort you to the elevator. Get directions to the Caltech Campus, Baxter Hall and Beckman Auditorium.

Pricing

Ticket prices for Baxter Hall are $10 for Skeptics Society members/Caltech/JPL community; $15 for nonmembers. Ticket prices for Beckman Auditorium are $15 for Skeptics Society members/Caltech/JPL community; $20 everyone else. Tickets for all Baxter Lecture Hall events are sold on a first come, first served basis at the door. Seating is limited. Your admission fee is a donation that pays for our lecture expenses. For Beckman Auditorium, tickets may be purchased in advance through the Caltech ticket office in 101 Winnett (MAP) at 626-395-4652, or at the door. Ordering tickets ahead of time is strongly recommended. Do not leave a message; call between 9am–4pm Monday through Friday.

Service Charge for Beckman Auditorium Tickets

For all tickets purchased by phone or fax for Beckman Auditorium lectures, Caltech will add an $8 service charge per ticket order (no matter how many tickets are ordered). No service charge will be added to tickets purchased at the door on the day of the event or purchased in person at the Caltech ticket office in advance.

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