Of thoughts and politics

Not exactly connected, but both attempting to answer some meaningful questions, two lectures are proposed for the public at large in Abu Dhabi this late November. First up is “In Defense of Politics”, on November 21.

Published: Sat 20 Nov 2010, 10:50 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:52 AM

Professor of political science Dr. Steven Smith, a master of Branford Collage at Yale University, is asking, then answering the following: What is politics and why does it need defending? Today the very idea of politics is under attack from two different sources: a hyper-partisanship that sees all politics as an existential struggle for victory at all costs, and a trans-political cosmopolitanism that would dissolve politics into a system of international laws and jurisprudence. In opposition to both of these extremes Dr. Smith suggests a return of the understanding of politics to a form of regime analysis, as would have been understood by both Aristotle and Tocqville.

Then, on November 24, we may witness a conversation between Peter Atkins, a Fellow Professor of Chemistry at Lincoln College, Oxford University and Joel Bernstein, Professor in Applied Science, Department of Chemistry at Ben-Gurion University.

Their topic of discussion: “Galileo’s Finger: the Ten Great Ideas of Science”. What is this about? In his book Galileo’s Finger (Oxford University Press, 2003), Peter Atkins identifies the criteria that let us classify a scientific idea as ‘great’.

This conversation will describe those criteria, and then identify what Atkins regards as the greatest ideas ever (so far). He will touch on the high points of each area of science, from biology and chemistry to physics and mathematics, in a non-technical and highly pictorial way.

Both events take place at Al Mamoura Building, from 7 to 9 pm and are free of charge.


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