DTC Journal Club: Friday 5th February 2016

Speaker:  Jenny Sanger

Title: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and Computational Neuroscience

Abstract: In 1962, Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In this book, and the essays that followed, Kuhn suggested that the concept of science passed along by pedagogical means is misleading in fundamental ways; and offered that a historical perspective is of greater use. This resulted in the sketching of scientific progression as following a structured and cyclical order of events: the process of normal science, the accumulation of anomaly, the emergence of crisis, the revolution, and the resolution causing a transition back to normal science. He also presented the notion of a ‘disciplinary matrix’ to describe that which a research community within a discipline shares; comprising of elements such as ‘symbolic generalisation’, ‘metaphysical paradigms’, ‘values’, and ‘exemplars’.
With Kuhn’s argument in mind, I ask what the elements common to the practitioners of Computational Neuroscience are, and consider where this particular discipline fits within the proposed Structure.

Speaker: Alina Selega

Title: Everything you (or, rather, I) wanted to know about space (that can fit in half an hour) [Layman’s perspective edition]

Abstract: I am going to use this talk as an opportunity to learn more about subjects of my great interest which are not immediately relevant to me and which I don’t know much about: namely, space and astrophysics.
I will talk about some fundamental results and observations we have about our Universe to this day; mention some cool facts and interesting missions; and give you some intuition on the scales that exist in space.
Please note that I am (sadly) not a physicist and the only way I can be counted an “astrophysics enthusiast” is the fact that I am very enthusiastic about it (: