© Pint of Science, 2018. All rights reserved.
From floods to volcanic eruptions to earthquakes, the occurrence of extreme natural events is often surprising and can have far reaching impacts. This evening focuses on the scientific methods we use to understand these phenomena, and how we deal with their unpredictable nature. Please note: this event takes place on the second floor and has no step free access.
Whitening the black swan
Dr Pierpaolo Vivo (Lecturer in Disordered Systems)
Rare and extreme events may have a significant impact in our life. From major natural disasters to sudden financial meltdowns, surprising, world changing events - black swans - have fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries. Can mathematicians build a coherent ‘theory of improbability’, and what principles should it adhere to? Using anecdotes and real-life examples, I will argue that low-probability events are badly handled by our human hardware. Nevertheless, thanks to new exciting theoretical developments, we now stand a much better chance to eventually ’whiten the black swan’.
Where does change really happen in disasters and climate change?
Justin Sharpe (PhD researcher)
We will look at the way in which human beings live with risk - and in some cases, exacerbate it - before exploring how individuals, rather than scientists, corporations or governments have the greatest potential to limit these risks and carry out their own protective measures. My research explores the extent to which 'Transformative Learning' practices may help us confront our fears, sense of helplessness and stasis in the face of such threats, providing practical and achievable ways forward.