The Second Law

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Invited Speakers

Alison Fernandes is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh (2016-2017), where she works on objective chance, and temporal asymmetries in the context of time travel. From May 2017 she will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick on an interdisciplinary AHRC project: "Time: Between Metaphysics and Psychology", led by Christoph Hoerl and Teresa McCormack. She completed her Philosophy PhD at Columbia University (2016). Her dissertation, "A Deliberative Account of Causation", argued we should make sense of causation by thinking about its relevance for decision-making. Her work more generally explores how agential standards can pick out objective scientific relations, explain their temporal features, and reconcile them with the picture of the world presented by fundamental physics. For more information visit her website.

Giovanni Valente (PhD Maryland 2009) is an assistant professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Pittsburgh and the recipient of a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers based at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (LMU Munich). His research focuses on the philosophy of science and the philosophy of physics. In particular, he deals with the interpretation of quantum probability, the issues of causality, non-locality and ontology in relativistic quantum field theory, and the emergence of irreversibility in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. He also has keen interests in broader topics of philosophy of science, such as causality, time, probability, inter-theoretical reduction, and climate modeling. For more information visit his website.

David Wallace read physics at Oxford University, as an undergraduate and PhD student, from 1994-2002, and then moved into philosophy of physics. He was tutorial fellow at Balliol College, and lecturer and then Professor in philosophy at Oxford, from 2005-2016, when he moved to the University of Southern California. He has research interests in philosophy of statistical mechanics, of symmetry and spacetime, of cosmology, and of quantum mechanics, where he is recognised as a leading expert on the Everett interpretation ("many-worlds theory"). His book on the many-worlds theory, The Emergent Multiverse (OUP, 2012) was joint winner of the 2013 Lakatos Award for philosophy of science. For more information, visit his website.

Aron Wall is a postdoc at Stanford studying black hole thermodynamics and the holographic principle. He read Great Books at St. John's College in Santa Fe, and got his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland in 2011. His dissertation (a proof that black holes obey the second law of thermodynamics when coupled to quantum fields) received the Bergmann-Wheeler Thesis Prize (2013). His first postdocs were at UC Santa Barbara and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He blogs about physics and theology at "Undivided Looking". For more information, visit his website.

Charlotte Werndl was born in Salzburg. She is now is Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Salzburg, Austria, a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) at the London School of Economics, and an affiliate of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. Previously she was an Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics and before that a research fellow at the University of Oxford. She completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge in 2010 and master's degrees both in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Salzburg in 2006. She is an editor of the Review of Symbolic Logic and an associate editor of Philosophy of Science. She has published papers on statistical mechanics, chaos theory, predictability, evidence and statistics, determinism and observational equivalence. Her current work focuses on the foundations of statistical mechanics, philosophy of climate science and evidence, and the philosophy of statistics. For more information, visit her website.