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Mind and Matter: the Kankas symposium
17-18 September 2021









Presented by Emmy Network Foundation, University of Helsinki and University of Turku

All the talks will be streamed live here on the website and recorded for later viewing.



Understanding the nature of the human mind is one of the Great Challenges facing philosophy, the natural, social and human sciences, and mathematics.

The challenge can seem self-referential in the sense that it is the human mind that is trying to understand itself. It might be the case that although the human mind is able to understand a great many things – from particles to galaxies – it may not be able to understand some key aspects of itself, such as the nature of intelligence and of conscious experience. It is also conceivable that a well defined notion of the mind and its place in nature will require an entirely new conception of reality, experience and a new understanding of the scope and limitations of models.

While we do not know to what extent such understanding is achievable, advances in neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, physics and mathematics have opened up new possibilities to tackle the mysteries of the human mind. And it is not only the psychologists and philosophers and neuroscientists who have relevant things to say here, for mathematicians, computer scientists and physicists can all contribute tools and radically new perspectives.

This symposium brings together leading researchers, such as Roger Penrose, Giulio Tononi, Sabrina Maniscalco, Basil Hiley, Hugh Woodin and others to explore whether mathematical and physical approaches in particular might provide new light into the perennial mysteries of the mind.


Schedule (times in Finnish time zone / EEST )

17th of September
10.00 Opening words
10.15 Keynote by Sir Roger Penrose
11.30 Talk by Basil Hiley
12.15 Lunch break
13.30 Talk by Hugh Woodin
14.15 Talk by Sabrina Maniscalco
15.00 Talk by Vesa Halava and Joseph Almog
15.45 Talk by Jussi Westergren
16.30 Discussion
17.00 End of day 1

18th of September
10.00 Talk by Giulio Tononi
10.45 Talk by Paavo Pylkkänen
11.30 Talk by Stuart Hameroff
12.15 Lunch break
13.00 Talk by Demis Hassabis (offline)
13.30 Talk by Marilu Chiofalo
14.15 Talk by Bert Kappen
15.00 Talk by Marco Manca
15.45 Talk by Martti Vainio
16.30 Talk by Ron Chrisley
17.00 State of the union - summary of the symposium

The talks are 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes discussion with the other speakers & comments and questions from remote participants.

The program will be streamed live here on the website and recorded for later viewing.