Benedek Kálmán online előadása, dec. 13: Questions without answers – Uncertainty in geosciences as a room for human imagination

Meghívó
Tisztelettel hívunk minden érdeklődőt a Litoszféra Fluidum Kutató Laboratórium (LRG) online szeminárium sorozatának keretében

Benedek Kálmán előadására: Questions without answers – Uncertainty in geosciences as a room for human imagination

Időpont: 2021. december 13. 10.30 óra
Helyszín: Zoom (online)
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Üdvözlettel,
Aradi László

További információért:  aradi.laszloelod@ttk.elte.hu
csaba.szabo@ttk.elte.hu  

Abstract

Questions without answers – Uncertainty in geosciences as a room for human imagination
Kálmán Benedek

In this short presentation, I try to summarize my more than 20 years of experience in applied geosciences around the world.
On one side we can see that scientific publications keep defining an unbroken success story and evolution in human technology, methodology developments. Papers send us the continuous message that human knowledge and associated scientific support have no boundaries, the real world (let`s call it “reality”) and total knowledge are fully accessible to us.
On the other side, when real problems need instant solutions, scientists become less confident or a bit confused and they try to assess the uncertainty of their conclusions, assessments, and predictions. Expressions like “I think”, “I believe”, “I assume”, “expert opinion”, “professional judgment”, etc. are all familiar for everyone. And all of them are equally vague and non-conclusive enough. How is it possible that the same information set (let`s call it “fact”) may result in various (and likely infinite number) scientific interpretations?
To study this apparent contradiction, we must leave the realm of geosciences, and theories of human belief (Descartes vs. Spinoza) and mind mapping (system analysis) may help us to have a deeper (but not ultimate) understanding of this phenomenon.
My presentation will cover the following aspects:
• What is uncertainty?
• Sources of uncertainty
• The basic (and unavoidable) conflict of interpretation vs. incomplete knowledge
• How do we believe?
• Have you heard about the slow science movement?
• Scientific management of various uncertainty types
• Can we upscale laboratory scale “data” to the real world?
• Some project examples
The intent of this presentation is to show that “being skeptic” is often more straightforward than “being a believer”. A skeptic tries to look out of the box in which we live, while a believer has a happy and comfortable life within the box…
I believe I will have more questions than answers for you in this presentation. But my hope is that it will be enjoyable for everyone and it may help you to look at geosciences from a different perspective. And again, this presentation summarizes my experiences, observations, and conclusions (?) which are not necessarily true…because I don`t know the truth.