Buddhism and Science Colloquium

Time: March 4‐5, 2010
Location: University of Oxford, Department of Physiology, Sherrington Room

Cosponsored by Physiology Department and Oriental Institute of the University of Oxford, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

The parallels between Buddhist ideas and those of modern science have been noted frequently. Examples include the ideas of emptiness and relativity theories, those of non‐Self and hysiology, mental cultivation and cognitive sciences. Are these parallels coincidental or do they represent a convergence that is necessary in comparing the results of introspective and objective methods? This colloquium will bring some of the leading scientists who have explored this convergence in a critical and analytical way, together with philosophers of science, in debate with Buddhist scholars investigating the relations between Buddhism and science in the ancient and contemporary worlds. The participating scientists include relativity and quantum mechanics theorists, systems biologists, clinicians, and cognitive scientists. The Buddhist scholars include the new Oxford professor of Buddhist studies, and two Tibetan Buddhist scholars who have engaged in a collaborative research with scientists. The colloquium will provide ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

March 4: Schedule

Morning Session

9:00‐9:20 Refreshments
9:20‐9:30 Welcome by Professor Denis Noble
9:30‐10:00 Vesna Wallace, Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of Oxford: “Introduction: Is there a Buddhist science?”
10:00‐10:30 Laurent Nottale, Astrophysicist, Directeur de recherche au CNRS et chercheur ˆ l'observatoire de Paris‐Meudon: “Relativity and Emptiness”
10:30‐11:00 Charles Auffray, Research Director at CNRS, heading the Genexpress team in Functional Genomics and Systems Biology for Health: “Systems biology and relativity”
11:00‐11:15 Tea break

11:15‐11:45 Denis Noble, Burdon Sanderson Professor Emeritus of Cardiovascular Physiology,
University of Oxford: “Systems biology concepts of the self (an›tman)”
12:30‐1:00 B. Alan Wallace, President, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness: “Toward
a three‐dimensional science of the mind” 1:00‐
2:00 Lunch break

Afternoon Session

2:00‐2:30 Mark G. Williams, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford, and
Director of the Oxford Centre for Mindfulness: “Meditation in clinical psychology”

2:30‐3:00 John Peacock, Associate Director of the Mindfulness Centre: “Constructing
reality: cognitivism and Buddhist psychology”

3:00‐3:30 Michel Bitbol, Directeur de Recherche au CNRS, CREA/Ecole Polytechnique:
“Buddhism and science: interdependence, from classical causality to quantum

3:30‐4:00 Tea break

4:00‐4:30 General discussion

March 5: Schedule

9:30‐10:00: Refreshments 10:00‐11:00: Response by Dr. Peter Hacker, Emeritus Research Fellow,
St John’s College, University of Oxford, followed by panel discussion 11:00‐11:15: Tea break

11:15‐1:00: Discussion with audience

Colloquium is open to all and admission is free. Registration is necessary due to limited seating. To register, please contact Ms. Hazel Benyon at OCBS: hazel.benyon@ocbs.org

Articles from the key speakers will be available on the website of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist
Studies: http://www.ocbs.org