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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - The Multi-Scale World

25th October 2016, 17:30 to 18:30, Sir James Knott Hall, Trevelyan College, Dr Patrick McGivern, University of Wollongong

Scientists often distinguish between a wide variety of scales in world. For example, biologists distinguish between organism scales and species scales, ecologists distinguish between patch scales and landscape scales, and physicists distinguish between micro scales and macro scales. There are two prominent ways of understanding this diversity of scales. According to the first, divisions between scales represent arbitrary choices in how we describe the world: the world itself does not have distinct scales, though it is often convenient for us to describe it as if it did. According to the second, distinct scales represent real divisions in the world that exist independently of our particular motives and interests. In this talk, Dr Patrick McGivern will explain the significance of these two alternatives for a range of problems concerning scale and will defend a version of the second view: we live in a multi-scale world, and recognizing real divisions between scales is crucial for understanding it.

Details about Dr Patrick McGivern

Directions to Sir James Knott Hall, Trevelyan College

Map - Trevelyan College is denoted as building No. 9

Contact for more information about this event.