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Is it rational to believe in things beyond the observable? A conversation with theoretical astrophysicists  Prof.dr. Heino Falcke and Prof.dr. Vincent Icke  about the limits of evidence, life as an experiment, and the life vision of a scientist. Can a scientist believe in God?

This program is organized jointly by students of  Veritas-forum Eindhoven  and Studium Generale (TU/e).

If you look up at the sky on a clear night, you will see a beautifully radiant, fascinating starry sky above you. Although many years of research have enormously enriched our knowledge about the universe, it still remains a great mystery. What lies beyond the unknown?

For renowned scientists Prof.dr. Heino Falcke and Prof.dr. Vincent Icke, understanding the universe is the ultimate scientific challenge. Falcke is world famous for  presenting the first ever image of a black hole (April 2019) ; Icke is acclaimed for his years of research in the fields of astronomy and cosmology, as well as his attempts to make science accessible and understandable for the general public. Both conduct scientific research in the same tradition. However, a dive into their beliefs about the power of science, their own talents, and their view of everything around them reveals two staunchly different visions. Except for, perhaps, one thing: the experiment.

Together and with the audience, Falcke and Icke will discuss their views on doing science in relation to their attitudes toward life and to their views about the inexplicable. Is it necessary to be able to prove everything? What role do assumptions play in scientific experiments? Are faith and science at odds, or are they an enrichment of each other and of life? A conversation about motives, about knowing and not knowing, and about belief and disbelief.

The conversation will be  moderated by science journalist  Ans Hekkenberg . She is an editor at the popular science monthly  New Scientist . Ans Hekkenberg speaks and writes about physics, astronomy, technology, and the importance of diversity in science.


Prof.dr. Heino Falcke  is a professor of Astroparticle Physics and Radio Astronomy at the Institute for Mathematics, Astronomy and Particle Physics (IMAPP) in the Faculty of Science (Radboud University, Nijmegen). His research focuses on super massive black holes and jets. Last year, he published his book  Light in the Darkness  (Prometheus, October 2020) .

Prof.dr. Vincent Icke is an astrophysicist, artist, designer, and writer. He is a professor of Theoretical Astronomy at Leiden University, and a professor of Cosmology at the University of Amsterdam. Besides being active in research, he attempts to make science accessible and understandable for the general public via, for example, tv talk shows, popular science books, daily and weekly papers, and videos.


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