Truth or Beauty – David Orrell
Scientists: Speaking like calculators and thinking like wizards, since Ancient Greece
From particle physics to market predictions, we thought scientists, right or wrong, traded in the world of facts. What we did not expect is that all the while they were deeply concerned about their looks.
Beauty is at the heart of scientific endeavour, and has always been. As the stakes get higher, however, can we afford to have outdated notions of aesthetics guide the way we engage with the world? We look at this specific question, as well as the many baby questions to which it gives birth, alongside author David Orrell.
David Orrell studied mathematics at the University of Alberta, and obtained his doctorate from Oxford University on the prediction of nonlinear systems. His work in applied mathematics and complex systems research has since led him to diverse areas such as weather forecasting, economics, and cancer biology. His book Apollo’s Arrow: The Science of Prediction and The Future of Everything was a national bestseller and finalist for the 2007 Canadian Science Writers’ Award. He lives and works in Oxford.