Notes on Discourse
The scientific fields exploring the topics covered by the this colloquium series face unique challenges. They are relatively fresh fields that are still carving out their place amongst their neighbouring scientific disciplines, and are hence still in the process of setting their standards of scientific practice. These fields of study also face the extra challenge of being interdisciplinary in nature. The search for the necessary and sufficient bases of consciousness finds itself at an intersection of neurology and information theory. The search for the origins of life finds itself at the intersection of chemistry, biology, palaeontology and exoplanatology.
Because we approach questions on the emergence and complexity of life from different fields of study, we inevitably bring with us baggage from our respective academic communities; we bring with us biases, interpretations, terminology, assumptions and agendas. This baggage can threaten our collaborative endeavours if it goes unaddressed.
The President's Dream Colloquium Series itself was an interesting experiment in interdisciplinary work. We brought together students and faculty from eight different disciplines and the colloquium pre-seminars focused on interdisciplinary student collaboration. This section of the website is intended to bring out and offer a preliminary discussion of the unique challenges that face the scientific communities on the frontiers of the emergence and complexity of life.