Open Communications in                   Nonlinear Mathematical Physics
 23-29 June 2024, Germany  

An Evening of Science and Philosophy

In addition to the regular Talks and Posters that will be presented by/to the expert participants at this conference, we are pleased to announce an additional Evening Session, titled "An Evening of Science and Philosophy" to take place on June 24th, 2024. This session is intended for the General Public, keeping in mind a Non-Expert Audience. As a participant in this session, you will have the opportunity to ask the speakers questions regarding the subject of their talks, or ask any other related questions that you may have; there will be ample time provided for this after each talk. There is no fee to participate in this event

Registration: If you are not already a participant at this conference and you are interested to attend this Public Session, then please register yourself by sending an Email to Seats are limited, so register early to secure your seat at this unique and exciting event! Participating in this event is free for everyone. The registration deadline is June 1st, 2024.

Time: 19:00, June 24th, 2024

Place: Häcker's Grand Hotel, Bad Ems

Programme:  More information in German can be downloaded here.  

19:00  Opening

- Some words of welcome by the Mayor of Bad Ems, Mr. Oliver Krügel.

- A Foreword by Prof . Dr. Norbert Euler, President of ISNMP; Editor in Chief of OCNMP

19:15  Speaker: Prof. Dr. Francesco Calogero

Title: My long life as a scientist and a "pacifist" 

20:00  Speaker: Prof. Dr. Athanasios S. Fokas

Title: The two ‘big bangs’ of our mental evolution 

20:45  Speaker: Prof. Dr. Adrian Constantin

Title: Geophysical flows and waves

21:30   Some closing remarks by Prof. Dr. Norbert Euler

Details and Abstracts:

Speaker 1: Francesco Calogero, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Title: My long life as a scientist and a "pacifist" 

Abstract: When I will present this talk (which I plan to write in advance, not to exceed my allotted time) I shall be in the 90th year of my long life. In it I will tersely describe in nontechnical terms my trajectory as a theoretical physicist---working mainly on nonlinear mathematical problems---and my involvement in world affairs. The second aspect of my life---centered on trying to contribute to arms control and disarmament, specifically (but not exclusively) concerning the so-called "weapons of mass destruction" (nuclear, chemical, bacteriological)---was triggered by a chance event of my life. During the academic year 1962 1963 I lived, together with my wife Luisa La Malfa and my parents Guido Calogero and Maria Calogero Comandini, in Princeton, NJ, USA. I was then, as a very junior theoretical physicist, a visitor at Princeton University; my father, a philosopher, was hosted at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) as an Invited Professor; we all lived that year together in a cottage provided by the IAS to my father. And we all went one weekend to Washington, DC, to visit the local (very beautiful) museums. But it happened to be just the crucial weekend of the "Cuban missiles crisis"; so we heard there the famous TV speech (October 22, 1962) by President J. F. Kennedy, describing that situation, which brought the world on the brink of a catastrophic nuclear war (people in Washington were looking that day at the sky to see if missiles carrying nuclear weapons were incoming). This made me interested in these topics. So after returning to Italy---where I have spent my entire scientific life at the Institute of Physics of the University of Rome "La Sapienza"; but also traveling a lot all over the world---I became involved (through my personal relation with Edoardo Amaldi) with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. That organization---which I served as Secretary General from 1989 to 1997---involves top scientists and other eminent individuals from all the world (including from both sides of the Iron Curtain, dividing the world during the Cold War era); it was co awarded (with Joseph Rotblat) the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 (50th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) "for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms".

In my talk I will tersely describe my life trajectory: hinting at the interesting places I visited, the interesting individuals I met, and my motivation for appending inverted commas on the last word in the title of this talk.

Speaker 2: Athanasios S. Fokas, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Title: The two ‘big bangs’ of our mental evolution 

Abstract: Visual perception will be used to show that every conscious experience is preceded by an unconscious process. In particular, in visual perception, which is achieved via the deconstruction of a given percept followed by its reconstruction, about a third of second after an unconscious reconstruction, the unconscious informs consciousness of the given percept. At this moment, the first ‘big bang’ takes place: awareness.
Many of our evolutionary predecessors possess consciousness. So why do we differ from them qualitatively? Many scholars have highlighted language as the key difference between us and other creatures possessing consciousness. In my opinion, this is not entirely correct. Instead, I propose that we possess a predisposition to construct real versions of our mental images and their unconscious forms, or to assign to them specific symbols. I label the emerging constructions or symbols, metarepresentations. This is the second ‘big bang’ of or mental evolution, which in addition to language, includes the metarepresentations of mathematics, computers, technology, and arts. A painting of Kandinsky will be used to illustrate the meta-representation of arts. 

Note: The latest book by Prof. Fokas is titled "Ways of Comprehending: The Grand Illusion and the Essence of Being Human". The cover of this book can be downloaded  here.

Speaker 3: Adrian Constantin, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Title: Geophysical flows and waves

Abstract: Using a few examples, it is explained how the interaction between measurements, mathematics and computer simulations enables insight into climate-relevant natural phenomena.

Note: We recommend the following video clip about Prof. Constantin's research  (in German).