In this series, a panel debates a topic with the aim of fostering interdisciplinary communication and mutual understanding. Emphasis will be placed on trying to identify common questions and on seeking to integrate knowledge from different areas of expertise.

On the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Science

Thursday 1 May, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE   



Steven French|, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds



Eleanor Knox|, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, King's College London




Mairi Sakellariadou|, Professor of Theoretical Physics, King's College London  


Chair: Bryan Roberts|, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow  

Galileo famously wrote that natural philosophy is ‘written in the language of mathematics’. Four hundred years later, the great physicist Eugene Wigner puzzled over why. Why is it that abstract pieces of mathematics, like an imaginary number, often later turn out to be surprisingly effective in describing concrete aspects of the natural world? In this event, philosopher of science Steven French and theoretical physicist Mairi Sakellariadou will comment on Wigner’s question, and then join a discussion on the issue with philosopher of physics Eleanor Knox

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEscience