World Science Festival in Turku

All events take place in the quantum auditorium, University of Turku.

16.30 coffee and biscuits
17.00 screening of the world science festival
18.30 questions and discussion with a local expert


​May 28: Spark of Genius? Electrical Stimulation and the Brain

MODERATOR: Richard Besser
PARTICIPANTS: Nita A. Farahany, Richard Haier, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Michael Weisend

How far would you go to improve your perfectly healthy brain? Would you be willing to strap on headgear that delivers electrical shocks to targeted areas of your brain? You may soon have that option. It’s called transcranial direct current stimulation, and while variations of the technique are already known to help depression patients, it’s currently being tested on soldiers, and used by gamers, students, and others looking for a cognitive edge. Does it work? Can carefully directed electrical stimulation improve cognitive function? What are potential long-term effects?
And how should it be regulated?

Local expert: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Henry Railo, University if Turku

June 1: Here, There and Everywhere: The Next Quantum Leap

PARTICIPANTS: Artur Ekert, Daniel Gottesman,Seth Lloyd, Eleanor Rieffel

Often viewed as “spooky” or downright bizarre, quantum theory is fueling a powerful new era of amazing technology. For the first time ever, quantum cryptography has created an "unbreakable code.” In quantum teleportation, physicists are breaking new distance records each year. And in the world of computation, scientists are inching closer to that elusive breakthrough—the universal quantum computer. Today’s top quantum physicists discuss the information shake-up underway—and predict when we can expect a quantum computer of our own.

Local expert: Professor Sabrina Maniscalco, University of Turku 

June 2: Mind Over Masters: The Question of Free Will

MODERATOR: Emily Senay
PARTICIPANTS: Christof Koch, Tamar Kushnir, Alfred Mele, Azim Shariff

Do we make conscious decisions? Or, as many scientists and philosophers argue, are all of our actions predetermined? And if they are predetermined—if we don't have free will—are we responsible for what we do? These are questions that have been debated for centuries but now, neurotechnology is allowing scientists to study brain activity neuron by neuron to try to determine how and when our brains decide to act. With neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers we’ll use the latest findings to explore the question of just how much agency we have in the world, and how the answer impacts our ethics, our behavior and our society.

Local expert: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Hemmo Laiho, University of Turku

June 3: To Infinity and Beyond: The Accelerating Universe

MODERATOR: Lawrence Krauss
PARTICIPANTS: Joshua Frieman, Priyamvada Natarajan, Adam Riess, Jan Tauber, Neil Turok

It’s modern cosmology’s biggest mystery—an unexplained energy that could one day rip the universe apart. It’s called dark energy, an anti-gravitational force that confounds the conventional laws of physics. It’s the most dominant substance in the universe, making up more than two-thirds of the cosmos. And yet, nearly two decades after its discovery, science is still grappling to explain what dark energy actually is. With today’s top physicists as our guides, we’ll journey to the earliest moments of the universe—and then far into the future—searching for

Local expert: Senior Lecturer Iiro Vilja, University of Turku


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