CFS Lecture by Piet Hut: An Extradisciplinary Approach to the Study of Consciousness

Lecture by Piet Hut, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, USA.

One focus of Piet Hut’s research is computational astrophysics, in particular multiscale multiphysics simulations of dense stellar systems. Another focus is interdisciplinary explorations in the areas of cognitive science and philosophy of science-centred around questions involving the nature of knowledge. A third focus is the question of the origins of life, on Earth as well as elsewhere in the universe, for which he is a foreign Principle Investigator at ELSI, the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The author of more than two hundred publications, Hut was honoured in 2004 when a main-belt asteroid was named “17031 Piethut” by the International Astronomical Union's Committee on Small Body Nomenclature.


I will report on several initiatives that I have organized together with colleagues from many different disciplines within academia, as well as outside academia.  These cover different types of summer schools, activities in virtual worlds, and most recently a plan to start a science/philosophy/art/design/technology cafe in Manhattan.  The common theme in all these activities has been the study of consciousness, from rather different angles.