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Yule Fest 2019 - Chris Lintott 'The Crowd & The Cosmos'

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Blackwell's Bookshop Oxford

48-51 Broad Street

Oxford

OX1 3BQ

United Kingdom

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Blackwell's Oxford Broad Street's annual festive celebration weekend, full of free author event talks.

About this Event

To launch the start of the festive season, Blackwell's is delighted to announce our annual Yule Fest event, featuring a line-up of superb authors who will be joining us across the weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December. Our guest speakers will be introducing their books throughout the day in free 45 minute talks, followed by a signing after offering the opportunity to purchase a special signed book. Booksellers will be spreading the festive cheer with complimentary mince pies alongside offering support to help you find the perfect Christmas present.

For the full weekend programme, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.

2:30 pm - Chris Lintott 'The Crowds & The Cosmos'

'The Crowds and the Cosmos' is a fascinating, personal account of the hugely popular web-based Zooniverse project, which enables hundreds of thousands of ordinary people to take part in cutting-edge science.

The world of science has been transformed. Where once astronomers sat at the controls of giant telescopes in remote locations, praying for clear skies, now they have no need to budge from their desks, as data arrives in their inbox. And what they receive is overwhelming; projects now being built provide more data in a few nights than in the whole of humanity's history of observing the Universe. It's not just astronomy either - dealing with this deluge of data is the major challenge for scientists at CERN, and for biologists who use automated cameras to spy on animals in their natural habitats. Artificial intelligence is one part of the solution - but will it spell the end of human involvement in scientific discovery?

No, argues Chris Lintott. We humans still have unique capabilities to bring to bear - our curiosity, our capacity for wonder, and, most importantly, our capacity for surprise. It seems that humans and computers working together do better than computers can on their own. But with so much scientific data, you need a lot of scientists - a crowd, in fact. Lintott found such a crowd in the Zooniverse, the web-based project that allows hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic volunteers to contribute to science.

'The Crowd and the Cosmos' describes the exciting discoveries that people all over the world have made, from galaxies to pulsars, exoplanets to moons, and from penguin behaviour to old ship's logs. This approach builds on a long history of so-called 'citizen science', given new power by fast internet and distributed data. Discovery is no longer the remit only of scientists in specialist labs or academics in ivory towers. It's something we can all take part in.

Chris Lintott is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who run the world's most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover planets, transcribe ancient papyri, or explore the Serengeti. For this work he has received awards from the Royal Society, American Astronomical Society and Institute of Physics amongst others. A passionate advocate of the public understanding of science, he is best known as co-presenter of the BBC's long running Sky at Night program and the author, with Queen guitarist Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore of two books 'Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe' (Carlton Books, 2007) and 'The Cosmic Tourist' (Carlton Books, 2012).

This event is free to register. Please note, the talks may be taking place in our Philosophy Department which is only accessible via a small set of stairs. Seats are allocated on a first come first seated basis, to ensure you have a seat please arrive early, standing room only will be available once all seats have been taken. For all enquiries please email events.oxford@blackwell.co.uk or call our Customer Service Department on 01865 333623.

Yule Fest Weekend 2019

Saturday 7th December

  • 11am – Stephen Law

Sunday 8th December

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Blackwell's Bookshop Oxford

48-51 Broad Street

Oxford

OX1 3BQ

United Kingdom

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