Archives: 2012–2013

Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science
53rd Annual Program

Download the 53rd Annual Program


40th Anniversary of the First Osgood Hill Conference on Quantum Gravity

Co-sponsored by the Center for Einstein Studies
Monday, October 15
Barristers Hall, Law School
765 Commonwealth Ave.

Flyer - Quantum Gravity - Oct 15, 2012

Morning Session, 9:00am-12:00pm

  • Introduction: Forty Years After

    John Stachel Center for Einstein Studies, Boston University

  • With a special pre-recorded presentation:
    Quantum Gravity? Or Quantum and Gravity from New Physics?

    Roger Penrose Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford

  • The Meaning of Background Independence

    Tian Yu Cao Philosophy, Boston University

  • Quantum or Emergent Gravity?—Key Issues

    Bei-Lok Hu Physics, University of Maryland

  • Simplicial Gravity and Strings

    John Swain Physics, Northeastern University

Afternoon Session, 2:00pm-5:30pm

  • Some Features of a Good Quantum Gravity Theory

    George Ellis Mathematics, University of Capetown

  • The Problem of Space in Quantum Gravity

    Christian Wüthrich Philosophy, Science Studies, UC San Diego

  • Quantum Gravity Phenomenology

    Giovanni Amelino-Camelia Physics, University of Rome La Sapienza

  • Meaning and Measurement in Quantum Gravity

    John Stachel Center for Einstein Studies, Boston University

  • Unimodular Conformal and Projective Relativity

    Kaća Bradonjić Physics, Wellesley College

Turing 100

Sunday, November 11, 10:00am-6:00pm
and Monday, November 12, 9:30am-6:30pm
Photonics Center
9th floor Colloquium Room (906)
8 St. Mary’s Street

Turing 100 Poster-page-001

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  • Alisa Bokulich, Director of the Center for Philosophy and History of Science, gives the introduction at the Turing 100 Colloquium

  • Marvin Minsky and Stephen Wolfram

  • Conference organizers from CPHS and the Hariri Institute during the break

  • Conference attendees await the next speaker

I. Turing’s Philosophical and Logical Foundations

Sunday, November 11, 10:00am- Noon

  • On Formalism Freeness: A Meditation on Gödel’s 1946 Princeton Bicentennial Lecture

    Juliette Kennedy Mathematics and Statistics, University of Helsinki

    mp3 | Lecture Slides

  • Turing, Church, Gödel, a personal perspective

    Michael Rabin Computer Science, Harvard University

    Lecture Slides

  • Turing and Wittgenstein

    Juliet Floyd Philosophy, Boston University

    mp3 | Lecture Slides

II. Turing and Mathematics: Computability and Definability

Sunday, November 11, 1:45pm-3:45pm

  • Universality is Ubiquitous

    Martin Davis Courant Institute, NYU; Mathematics, UC Berkeley

    mp3 | Lecture Slides

  • Collapsing Sentences

    Gerald Sacks Mathematics, Harvard University and MIT


  • The Hierarchy of Definability: An Extended Thesis

    Theodore Slaman Mathematics, UC Berkeley

    mp3 | Lecture Slides

III. Turing and Cryptography

Sunday, November 11, 4:00pm-6:00pm

  • Rational Proofs

    Silvio Micali Computer Science, MIT


  • Turing and the Growth of Cryptography

    Ronald Rivest Computer Science, MIT

    mp3 | Lecture Slides

  • Alan Turing and Voice Encryption

    Craig Bauer Mathematics, York College of Pennsylvania


IV. Turing and Artificial Intelligence

Monday, November 12, 9:30am-12:15pm

  • Title TBA

    Marvin Minsky Media Arts and Sciences, MIT

  • Why Neanderthals Couldn’t Pass Turing’s Test and When Computers Will

    Patrick Henry Winston Computer Science, MIT

  • Embodying Computation at Higher Types

    S. Barry Cooper Mathematics, University of Leeds

    Lecture Slides

V. The Church-Turing Thesis

Monday, November 12, 2:00pm-4:00pm

  • Normal Forms for Puzzles: an Enigmatic Variant of Turing’s Thesis

    Wilfrid Sieg Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Exploring the Computational Universe

    Stephen Wolfram Wolfram Research


  • Is there a Church-Turing Thesis for Social Algorithms?

    Rohit Parikh Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, CUNY

     mp3 | Lecture Slides

VI. Turing, Physics, and Probability

Monday, November 12, 4:15pm-6:30pm

  • Algorithmic Randomness and Turing’s Work on Normality

    Rod Downey Mathematics, Victoria University of Wellington

     mp3 | Lecture Slides

  • Spacetime Physics and Non-Turing Computers

    Mark Hogarth Philosophy, Cambridge University


  • The Mysterious Thesis

    Leonid Levin Computer Science, Boston University

    mp3 | Paper 1 | Paper 2

Organized in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science and the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering. Financial support has been provided by the Hariri Institute.

Updates about the conference and more information about Alan Turing will be posted on the conference website, hosted by the Hariri Institute.

How Can the History and Philosophy of Science Contribute to Contemporary U.S. Science Education?

Friday, December 7, 2012
Photonics Center, 9th Floor Colloquium Room
8 St. Mary’s Street, Room 906


Introductory Comments
Panel I: History of HPS in Science Education


  • The Neglected Mandate: Teaching Science as Part of our Culture

    Gerald Holton Harvard University

  • HPS & ST: Looking Back and Going Forward

    Michael Matthews University of New South Wales

    Panel Participants: Sevan Terzian University of Florida; David Rudge Western Michigan University

Panel II: HPS and the Science Frameworks


  • Framing the Learning/Teaching of Science and Nature of Science: Practices-Core Ideas-Crosscutting Concepts

    Richard Duschl NSF

  • Philosophy of Science and Science Education Reform

    Gregory Kelly Penn State

    Panel Participants: Michael Ford University of Pittsburgh; Jacob Foster Mass DOE; Katherine McNeill Boston College

Panel III: Teaching and Learning with HPS I: Outcomes for Teachers and Students


  • What History Teaches Us About Using History of Science to Teach About Nature of Science

    Fouad Abd-El-Khalick University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Science With a Background

    Fanny Seroglou Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

    Panel Participants: Katherine Brading University of Notre Dame; Ricardo Lopes Coelho University of Lisbon

Lunch: Plenary Speaker


Barrister’s Hall — Invitees only

  • On the importance of defining before maligning: a case study from early science education

    David Klahr Carnegie Mellon University

Panel IV: Teaching and Learning with HPS II: Outcomes for Teachers and Students


  • Using the History of Scientists to Inspire or Motivate STEM Learning

    Xiaodong Lin-Siegler Columbia University

  • HPS from the Teacher’s Perspective: Three Approaches to Teaching the Nature of Science

    Douglas Allchin University of Minnesota

    Panel Participants: Frank Keil Yale University; Michael Clough Iowa State

Panel V: Using HPS in the Classroom: Ethical Reasoning and Modeling


  • Integrating Bioethics into Secondary Science Education: Content, Pedagogy and Lessons Learned

    Mildred Solomon The Hastings Center

  • Patterns of Cognitive Engagement that Interact with the Nature of Science to Complicate Public Understanding of Complexity and Scientific Research

    Tina Grotzer Harvard University

    Panel Participants: Jeanne Chowning Northwest Association for Biomedical Research

Panel VI: HPS in K-12 Professional Development


  • History of Science in the Classroom – a Story of Obstacles to Overcome

    Dietmar Höttecke Universität Hamburg

  • Assessing the Impact of a Historically Based Unit on Preservice Teachers’ Views of the Nature of Science

    David Rudge Western Michigan University

    Panel Participants: John Clement University of Massachusetts Amherst; Barbara Crawford University of Georgia

Co-sponsored by the Boston University School of Education. We gratefully acknowledge the support of a REESE grant from the National Science Foundation.

More information, including a list of speakers and their profiles, is available at the conference website (

The Robert S. Cohen Forum: Contemporary Issues in Science Studies

The Science of Music: 150 Years Since Helmholtz’s On the Sensations of Tone

Friday, March 22, 2013
1:00-5:00 pm
Terrace Lounge, 2nd Floor, George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Avenue


The Reception of Helmholtz’s On the Sensations of Tone: Celebrity vs. Enlightenment

David Cahan History, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Sympathetic Resonance: The Influence of Helmholtz’s Theory of Acoustics

Lydia Patton Philosophy, Virginia Tech

Pitched Battles: Helmholtz, Rayleigh, and Beyond

Eric J. Heller Chemistry, Physics, Harvard University

Musical Illusions, Perfect Pitch, and Other Mysteries

Diana Deutsch Psychology, UC San Diego

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Boston University Center for the Humanities.

The Karbank Symposium in Environmental Philosophy

A Symposium on John Broome’s Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World

Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Castle, 225 Bay State Road


John Broome White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford

Stephen Gardiner University of Washington
Caspar Hare MIT
David Roochnik Boston University

The Alfred I. Tauber Forum

Stereotype Threat: Philosophy, Psychology, and the Self

Monday, April 29, 2013
Terrace Lounge, 2nd Floor, George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Avenue

Stereotype Threat Poster_3

Stereotype Threat: What It Is, How It Affects Students’ Achievement Over Time, and How to Fix It

Greg Walton Psychology, Stanford University


Stereotype Threat: Implications for the Assessment of Merit and for Affirmative Action

Steven Spencer Psychology, University of Waterloo

Why Are There So Few Women in Philosophy?

Louise Antony Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Stereotype Threat and Intentional Performance

Ron Mallon Philosophy, Washington University, St. Louis


Using Knowledge: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives on Stereotype Threat

Tamar Gendler Philosophy, Yale University

mp3 (Note: first few seconds missing)

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Boston University Center for the Humanities.