Category archives: Humanities & Social Sciences

Conspiracy theories: how belief is rooted in evolution – not ignorance

Conspiracy theories: how belief is rooted in evolution – not ignorance

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

Despite creative efforts to tackle it, belief in conspiracy theories, alternative facts and fake news show no sign of abating. This is clearly a huge problem, as seen when it comes to climate change, vaccines and expertise in general – with anti-scientific attitudes increasingly influencing politics. So why can’t we stop such views from spreading? […]

Cost of energy and its variability can be reduced in tidal power

Cost of energy and its variability can be reduced in tidal power

EconomicsEnergyMechanical Engineering

By BCAM

Tides are more predictable than winds or sunshine. Then, why are not they already widely used as a source of renewable energy? The simple answer is that designing and building an ocean energy array is quite complex. This complexity has an associated variability in the cost of energy that makes projects difficult to evaluate from […]

Why emergent levels will not save free will (& 2)

Why emergent levels will not save free will (& 2)

Philosophy of science

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

In the first entry of this series, I briefly explained Christian List’s attempt to vindicate the ontological and scientific reality of intentional action as a real emergent phenomenon. In a nutshell, intentional, deliberate and often ‘rational’ action is not a fiction (as some skeptics like Alex Rosenberg have defended ), but a totally legitimate inhabitant […]

Why emergent levels will not save free will (1)

Why emergent levels will not save free will (1)

Philosophy of science

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

Christian List, a German professor in the London School of Economics, is one of the most prolific and intelligent authors in the new generation of philosophers of social science. He has authored and co-authored a formidable number of extremely interesting papers in areas like social choice, formal epistemology, judgment aggregation, deliberative democracy or political philosophy […]

The road to quantum gravity (4): The flow of time for massive objects

The road to quantum gravity (4): The flow of time for massive objects

CosmologyHistoryTheoretical physics

By Daniel Fernández

We started this series discussing the basic ingredients of the Universe: events, spacetime, causality. In the last chapter, we introduced massive objects (and thus, matter), which appear as a generalization of the so-called photon box. As it moves, any object traces a path. Physicists call it worldline. We established that a massive object never moves […]

The properties that characterize the definition of Nash equilibrium

The properties that characterize the definition of Nash equilibrium

EconomicsMathematics

By José Luis Ferreira

Strategic decision is the object of study for Game Theory, a discipline that started officially with the book The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern . For non-cooperative games, i.e., games in which individuals make decisions individually and with no strings attached, the book was restricted to zero-sum […]

Why is climate change denied?

Why is climate change denied?

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

Scientific disinformation about climate change is having a great impact especially in countries like the United States (USA). Misinformation about this topic and about scientific issues in general, not only confuses the population and discredits scientific findings but also paralyzes evidence-based policies. Farrell et al (2019) provide a series of examples and strategies that can […]