Friday, 21 January 2011

New PG Interdisciplinary Discussion Group - University of London

A new interdisciplinary discussion group is being established for post-graduate students at the University of London.  The group will provide an exciting opportunity for scientists and humanities scholars to come together to discuss the ways in which their disciplines relate, interact and can be fruitful for or antagonistic towards one another.
Inaugural Meeting, 2nd February 2011, 5-7pm

Venue:  Centre for Humanities and Health Seminar Room (Room F2), 5th Floor, East Wing, Strand Campus, King’s College London (Directions Below)

Scientific articles:
(Primary reading) Corlett P R, Honey G D, Krystal J H, Fletcher P C (January 2011) Glutamatergic model psychoses: prediction error, learning and inference. Neuropsychopharmacology. 36(1), 294-315.
 (Secondary reading) Everitt B J, Belin D, Economidou D, Pelloux Y, Dalley J W, Robbins T W (12 October 2008) Neural mechanisms underlying the vulnerability to develop compulsive drug-seeking habits and addiction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Biological Sciences). 363, 3125-3135.
Both are available from the pubmed website below, and journal access is available from most university networks:

Literary Reading:
Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception, any edition, widely available in libraries or cheaply on amazon or in bookshops.

If you have difficulty accessing the articles email Helen or Susie  for a pdf copy.

If you have any questions regarding the discussion group, also contact Helen.

A Word from the Creators of the Group:
‘The idea of a war between two cultures is a futile one. Instead we all need to sit down together and exchange our visions’ (Mary Midgley, Science and Poetry, London and New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 57)

There is a growing critical interest in the relationship between the sciences and the arts and interdisciplinary research is on the rise. Yet despite this, it is rare for a group of scientists and humanities scholars to come together to discuss the ways in which their disciplines relate, interact and can be fruitful for or antagonistic towards one another. Therefore, this group intends to be a space for precisely this to happen.

Established by Susie Christensen, an English literature PhD student in the Centre for Humanities and Health at King’s College and Helen Barron, a Neuroscience PhD student at the Institute of Neurology at UCL, we aim to bring postgraduate students from across the University of London and from a range of artistic and scientific disciplines together.

In light of the current exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, the first meeting will take as its focus the topic of ‘drugs’. We will be approaching this from a neuroscientific and literary perspective to begin with, but do not want the discussion either within this session, or in the group in future to be limited to these disciplines. We are simply starting with what we know, and hope that other researchers and students may want to lead future discussions.

There are some short readings for this session which are referenced below. We will begin with some introductory comments relating to these texts and use them as a starting point for discussion. If you are unable to read them, please do still attend, but we would be grateful if you are able to read through them in order to focus the initial discussion.

Helen Barron will introduce the scientific readings, and Nicholas Murray, Huxley’s biographer and the King’s College Royal Literary fund biographer in residence will introduce the Huxley text.

Any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with either of us or

Helen and Susie

-- Alicia

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