Conference: Beauty in science -University of Oxford

A conversation on the role of aesthetics in science, including data from the world’s first international survey on the topic.

About this event

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Speakers Include:


Dr. Ben MacArthur is Director of AI for Science and Government and Deputy Programme Director for Health and Medical Sciences at the Alan Turing Institute. He is also Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Dr. James McAllister is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Leiden University. He is the author of Beauty and Revolution in Science (Cornell University Press, 1996).

Dr. Milena Ivanova is Bye-Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge. She is the co-editor of The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding (Routledge, 2020), author of Duhem and Holism (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and is currently coediting a book on The Aesthetic Nature of Scientific Experiments, forthcoming with Routledge.

Dr. Robert Gilbert is Professor of Biophysics in the Nuffield Department of Medicine and Director of the University of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Graduate School. He is the author of Science and the Truthfulness of Beauty (Routledge, 2018).

Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder is Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies. She is the author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray (Basic Books, 2018) and Existential Physics: A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions (Viking and Atlantic Books, 2022) and creative director of the YouTube channel “Science without the gobbledygook.”

Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at The Catholic University of America. He is co-author of Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think about Religion (Oxford University Press, 2019) and PI of Work and Well-Being in Science, an international study of well-being in scientific work including the role of aesthetics in science.




Ben MacArthur, “Truth and beauty in physics and biology”

James McAllister, “Beauty and theory in science”

Milena Ivanova, “Beauty and experiment in science”

Robert Gilbert, “Beauty in nature and in data”

Sabine Hossenfelder, “How beauty leads physics astray”

Brandon Vaidyanathan, “Beauty in science: An empirical assessment”


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