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Literary Festival 2014: Metaphors and Science


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Speaker(s): Richard Bronk, Professor Roger Kneebone, Dr Felicity Mellor
Chair: Dr Daniel Glaser

Recorded on 26 February 2014 in Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building.

This panel discussion will examine the role of metaphors in scientific thinking and in the presentation of science. It will ask whether the use of metaphors leads to unnecessary distortions in analysis or is instead an essential part of scientific thinking. Do we need to deconstruct the hidden metaphors in scientific analysis in order to uncover hidden frames? Or should we see metaphorical thinking as a major tool in scientific discovery and in the presentation of scientific findings?

Richard Bronk is visiting fellow in the European Institute at LSE. With a degree in Classics and Philosophy and seventeen years experience in financial markets, Richard has been at LSE since 2000. He is author of The Romantic Economist: Imagination in Economics (Cambridge University Press, 2009) which explores the role of metaphors, imagination and language in economics.

Roger Kneebone (@ProfKneebone) is a professor in the department of surgery and medicine at Imperial College London and Engagement Fellow of the Wellcome Trust. Trained as a trauma surgeon and with experience as a GP, Roger has since 2003 worked on innovative training and simulation techniques for surgery. His recent research has focused on the synergies between science and the arts and on encouraging public engagement with science.

Felicity Mellor is senior lecturer in the Science Communication Unit at Imperial College London. With a PhD in theoretical physics and experience lecturing in astronomy, Felicity now does research on the interface between science and the public, and on the role of narrative in science.

Daniel Glaser (@bnglaser) is director of the Science Gallery at Kings College, London. With degrees in English Literature, cognitive science and neurobiology, he has worked for more than a decade at the interface between science and the arts, first at the ICA and then with multiple audiences and national media.

This event forms part of LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February - Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme 'Reflections'.

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