Lecture series presents talks on modern physics, quest for truth

A free lecture series designed to entertain and expand the mind offers talks on the birth of science, the quest for truth and meaning, recent advances in physics and more.

Florida State University students are invited to 5 + 2 Days of Opening Minds 2013, an enlightening series held on Wednesdays in the Askew Student Life Center Theater, 942 Learning Way.

The lecture series is geared toward Florida State undergraduates and any remaining seats are open to the public.

The series is organized by Sir Harold Kroto, the Francis Eppes Professor in Florida State’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and one of the co-recipients of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The following lectures are all held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.:

  • Oct. 2: “Science, Society and Responsibility”

Kroto will discuss the notion that the fantastic usefulness of science in creating our modern world has obscured the fact that science is intrinsically a cultural concept involving the need for evidence to determine truth with any degree of reliability. President Eric J. Barron will introduce Kroto.

  • Oct. 9: “The Birth of Natural Philosophy and its Prodigal Son: Science”

Kroto probes the traumatic events and brave scientists responsible for the difficult birth of science. Sam Huckaba, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will host this lecture.

  • Oct. 16: “The Educational Revolution and the GooYouWiki World”

Kroto considers the Internet, the second great revolution in education (the first was the invention of the printing press).Garnett S. Stokes, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, will introduce Kroto.

  • Oct. 30: “Generation Atheist: 25 Personal Journeys”

Author Dan Riley will speak about the quest for truth and meaning. Such journeys have long concluded in devotion to God or a commitment to religion. But today there is a shift: Many questioning people find meaning in alternative ways. Riley describes 25 such journeys by young people in his book “Generation Atheist.” Kroto will host this lecture.

  • Nov. 6: “Across the Universe: Tales of Mystery and Imagination from the Fascinating World of Modern Physics”

Mark Riley, the Raymond K. Sheline Professor of Physics at Florida State, will describe exciting recent physics advances, from the discovery of the Higgs particle to the grand mysteries of dark matter and dark energy. Kroto will host this lecture.

Learn more about the series online.