DTC Journal Club – Friday 24th June 2016

Speaker: Gavin Gray

Title: Proving Occam’s Razor

Abstract: Occam’s razor kind of underpins all of science, because without it our theories might as well be arbitrarily complex, which would probably get in the way of the whole thing. There are many quotes of scientists recommending it, but is that good enough for us to blindly follow it? It turns out the work on proving this is relatively recent and is still controversial. But, maybe it is all just the consequence of using honest Bayesian methods.

Speaker: Martino Sorbaro

Title: Human genes, languages, and the history of mankind

Abstract: Compared to the amount of evidence available to study the last few millennia of history, very little is known about the tens of thousands of years during which humans were mostly sparse, nomadic populations. In the last fifty years, a new tool has become valuable: population genetics. In this talk, I will briefly show the results obtained by the genetics of human populations, including their relation to linguistics.

Disclaimer: as always the talk is given also for me to understand the subject better and spark an interesting debate, but this is not my field!