The Human Touch: Our part in the creation of the Universe
by Frayn, Michael (Playwright, Novelist and Translator)
at CERN ( 500-1-001 - Main Auditorium )
MF will talk about his new book The Human Touch, in which he argues that our understanding of the universe is based upon a paradox. On the one hand, we all agree that humankind is a tiny and insignificant local anomaly. On the other hand, it is impossible to have any concept of the universe except through the constructions that human beings have placed upon it. Without human beings there would be no words or language. Would there still be numbers, if there were no one to count them? Or scientific laws, if there were no words or numbers in which to express them? Would the universe even be vast, without the very fact of our smallness and insignificance to give it scale? Could it have any expression in space and time at all, except in relation to our being where we are when we are? Some of these questions are no longer purely abstract, but are becoming of practical interest to cosmologists and physicists.
About the speaker: Michael Frayn is the acclaimed author of Copenhagen, the theatre play that describes Heisenberg's visit to the Bohr's during the 2nd World War. He has of course written many other plays and novels, and has won many prestigious prizes.
His last book, is a work of non-fiction: 'The Human Touch: Our part in the creation of the Universe'. It will be the main subject of the colloquium.
A brief biography of Michael Frayn can be found at:
Organiser(s): L. Alvarez-Gaume / PH-TH