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Discourse Series

In this Discourse, Professor Palmer argued that the three great theories of 20th Century physics are relativity theory, quantum theory and chaos theory. He focused on the fractal geometry of chaos and argues that its properties provide a geometric realisation of the great incompleteness/undecidability theorems of Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing.

Our speakers

Tim Palmer

Tim Palmer, Hon. MRIA is a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford. His PhD was in general relativity theory, but he has spend much of his career researching the nonlinear dynamics of our climate system. Amongst other things he discovered the world’s largest breaking waves (in the stratosphere) and pioneered the development of probabilistic ensemble prediction techniques for weather and climate forecasting. In the last few years he has become active in the field of quantum foundations.

As well as a fellow of the Royal Society and Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Tim is an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. Amongst other awards he has won the Dirac Gold Medal of the Institute of Physics, and a Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society. As Lead Author, he was officially recognised as having contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s award of Nobel Peace Prize.

Luke Drury

Luke Drury MRIAis the Chair of the ALLEA Open Science Taskforce. The ALLEA Open Science Task Force draws on the expertise of ALLEA’s academy members in promoting science across all disciplines as a global public good that is as open as possible and as closed as necessary. He was President of the RIA from 2011 to 2014.

Royal Irish Academy Discourse Series

Our discourses are the oldest and most renowned series of talks in Ireland. The first discourses were presented in 1786. Historically, Academy discourses were the occasion reserved for the most distinguished academics to first reveal and discuss their research in public. Continuing in this tradition, the Discourse Series brings international experts to the Academy to discuss important contemporary issues in front of a live audience.

Discourse Series

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