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David Bohm Centennial Celebration

with Basil Hiley, Paul Howard, Beth Macy, F. David Peat, Paavo Pylkkanen, Shantena Sabbadini, David Schrum and Gordon Shippey

September 14 – September 20, 2017

Join us at the Pari Center to celebrate the life and work of the multifaceted David Bohm. Considered one of the most important theoretical physicists and original thinkers of the 20th century, Bohm contributed influential ideas to quantum theory, neuropsychology, philosophy of mind, language, dialogue and education.

This will be an informal meeting with presentations by experts on Bohm’s life, work and philosophy followed by roundtable discussions.

Key topics will include Quantum Theory and Relativity, the Aharonov-Bohm Effect, Implicate and Explicate Orders, Limits of Language, Dialogue, Philosophy of Mind, Creativity, Rheomode, Protomind, the Bohm/Krishnamurti relationship.

Participants are limited to 20 places. Register early, this is proving to be a popular event.

Open to everyone, contact us: eleanor@parinetworks.org

Basil Hiley

Basil was born in Yangon, Myanmar, (formerly known as Burma) on the 15 November 1935. He moved to India with his parents in 1940 to 1946. He grew up in India where his father was stationed with the British Indian Army before, during and after WWII. He returned to the UK with his parents when India gained independence in 1947. In India Basil attended many local schools of varying standards. His education did not stabilise until he returned to the UK where he attended Brockenhurst County High 1948-1956. He then became an undergraduate at Kings College London where he received a B. Sc. (Special Physics, Theoretical Option) 1st Class Honours, in 1959. He stayed on at Kings to work for his PhD in theoretical physics. The topic of his work was "Statistical Mechanics of Interacting Systems" under the supervision of Prof C. Domb. He received his PhD three years later in 1962.

He first met David Bohm when David gave a lecture to students at Cumberland Lodge. Cumberland Lodge is a 17th-century Grade II listed country house in Windsor Great Park in the county of Berkshire whose patron is the queen. David had just been appointed to the Chair of theoretical physics at Birkbeck College, London University, and had been asked to give a lecture on quantum mechanics

As a result of this meeting Basil applied for a lecturing position at Birkbeck and was successful. He continued as a lecturer until 1980 when he was promoted to Reader. In 1995 Basil was given the Chair of Physics until his retirement in 2001. He is now Emeritus Professor of Physics at Birkbeck till the present day. He also holds an Honorary Research position at University College London, where he is working with Dr. Robert Flack exploring weak values and their implications both theoretically and experimentally. The long term aim is to give the first evidence of the existence of the quantum potential in atomic systems. This work is supported by the Fetzer Franklin Fund. Bruce Fetzer who co-sponsored this celebration is on the board. Basil and David worked on the deeper philosophical problems of quantum mechanics. They published many papers together resulting in their seminal work, The Undivided Universe: an Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Their fruitful collaboration came to an abrupt halt when David fell ill followed by his untimely death in 1992.

Basil has made several public appearances on TV and radio around the world. In Israel he took part in a TV Discussion titled Quantum Theory and Reality in 1991. In 1993 he was invited to contribute to a programme called Quirks and Quarks by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In the same year he appeared on the BBC World Service's programme Science Today. In 1999 he was part of BBC Discussions with the Artist Antony Gormley. He appeared on the BBC again in 2009 making a guest appearance on Melvyn Bragg’s In our Time: The Measurement problem in Physics. Basil has published over one hundred and fifty papers in various physics journals. He also edited a collection of papers with F. D. Peat, Quantum Implications: Essays in Honour of David Bohm. Basil also had a Special Issue of Foundations of Physics dedicated to him: Basil Hiley Festschrift 43(4), (2013) 409-595.

He received the Majorana Prize “Best Person in Physics” in 2012. Previous notable holders have been Divid Mermin (Cornell) 2010, Geoffrey Chew (Berkley) 2008 and Lee Smolin (Perimeter) 2007.

Presentation

Basil will give an overview of the explorations he and David Bohm made in their many years together as colleagues.

Paul Howard

Paul Howard is a Film/Television Producer/Director and a Series Producer. Born in Ireland, Paul has 30 years experience in production, mostly in Ireland and Australia. He is currently finalizing production on a feature film entitled Twice Upon a Time in Dublin and has in development a number of international documentary/drama co-productions including Infinite Potential: The Life and Ideas of David Bohm and Reincarnation, a documentary drama co-production for release in 2018. Recent productions include 21st Century Railways; Marsh to the Skies; Secret Sites of Ireland; Bloomsday; The Irish in Hollywood and much more.

Paul has produced, directed and edited multi critically acclaimed documentaries and series for RTE (Ireland), Channel 4 (UK), Nine Network (Australia), Nomad Films International (Australia), Imagine Limited (Ireland), which cover most genres including biography, natural history, wildlife, food, lifestyle and current affairs. He also performed the role of joint managing director in a number of Independent Television companies. In Australia, Paul completed a number of projects including Triumph of the Nomads, a history of Australia prior to the arrival of European settlers and The Pintubi a documentary/drama series about the last remaining tribe of Aborigines. In addition he directed and produced Breakthroughs, a series on the latest developments in science and medicine.

Paul Howard is MD of Imagine Films and January3 Entertainment Ltd, both based in Dublin. These companies work with the best writing and production talent in film, television and commercial production.

Presentation

At the Bohm Centennial Celebration Paul will discuss his upcoming production of Infinite Potential: The Life and Ideas of David Bohm, the particular difficulties associated with getting this film off the ground, his ambitions for the project and his own engagement with Bohm’s life and ideas while researching the project. He will also screen a ‘promo/trailer’ of the upcoming documentary and show clips from the documentary as a “work in progress” which he will discuss as part of the David Bohm centennial celebration.

Beth Macy

The common thread weaving through Beth's career has been change, having been a manager, leader or consultant dealing with organizations experiencing difficult issues. The types of organizations in which she has participated have varied from small to large, private to public, non-profit to profit, health care to oil and gas, local to global. An early fascination with systems theory brought Beth in contact many years back with David Bohm's process of dialogue which ever since has been the core of her research, writing and practice. She currently lives in Texas, continuing her consulting practice and regularly teaching dialogue courses at The C.G. Jung Center of Houston.

Presentation

In her presentation, Beth will share some of the little-known strands of influence that David Bohm brought into his process of dialogue. We will trace how his own early life experiences, his contact with psychiatrist Patrick DeMaré, his scientific studies, and—though perhaps unknowingly—the influence of C.G. Jung came together into one of Bohm's greatest gifts to the world through the process of dialogue.

Paavo Pylkkänen

Paavo Pylkkänen, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Theoretical Philosophy and Director of the Bachelor’s Program in Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. He is also Associate Professor of Theoretical Philosophy (currently on leave) at the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of Skövde, where he initiated a Consciousness Studies Program. His main research areas are philosophy of mind, philosophy of physics and their intersection. The central problem in philosophy of mind is how to understand the place of mind—and especially conscious experience—in the physical world. Pylkkänen has explored whether this problem can be approached in a new way in the framework of the new holistic and dynamic worldview that is emerging from quantum theory and relativity. He has in particular been inspired by the physicists David Bohm and Basil Hiley’s interpretation of quantum theory and has collaborated with both of them. In his 2007 book Mind, Matter and the Implicate Order he proposed that Bohmian notions such as active information and implicate order provide new ways of approaching key problems in philosophy of mind, such as mental causation and time consciousness. The overall aim of his research is to develop a scientific metaphysics. Paavo Pylkkänen has been a visiting researcher in Stanford University, Oxford University, London University, Charles University Prague and Gothenburg University and is a member of the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in the Philosophy of Social Sciences (TINT).

Presentation "The many faces of Bohm's quantum philosophy"

In the course of his long career David Bohm explored a number of different approaches to quantum theory, each raising interesting philosophical issues. Does the usual interpretation of quantum theory imply that individual quantum systems ought to be understood as potentialities, as opposed to concrete entities localized in space-time (Bohm 1951)? Is it possible to give a realistic and causal interpretation of quantum systems as particles that move along trajectories (Bohm 1952, 1957)? To reconcile quantum theory and (general) relativity, is it necessary to postulate an underlying "implicate order" from which the "explicate order" of space, time and matter unfolds (Bohm 1971-1980)? While these ideas are related to each other, there are important differences between them, and to properly understand them it is important to realize that they arise from different conceptual frameworks. This talk presents some of Bohm's key philosophical ideas arising from quantum theory, and explores how they are related to each other.

Shantena Augusto Sabbadini

Shantena Augusto Sabbadini received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California in 1976. He worked as a theoretical physicist at the University of Milan and at the University of California. In Milan he researched the foundations of quantum physics. In California he contributed to the first identification of a black hole.

In the 1990s he was scientific consultant for the Eranos Foundation, an East-West research centre founded under the auspices of C.G. Jung in the 1930s. In that context he studied Chinese classics and produced various translations and commentaries in Italian and English, including the Yijing and the trilogy of Daoist classics, the Laozi, the Zhuangzi and the Liezi.

He is associate director of the Pari Center for New Learning and lecturer at the Schumacher College, Devon, UK, and leads workshops on the philosophical implications of quantum physics, on Daoism, and on using the Yijing as a tool for introspection. His latest book, Pilgrimages to Emptiness, has just come out in Italian. An English version will be published by Pari Publishing.

Presentation

“I only met David Bohm twice, both times in the context of a large meeting. Later I had the opportunity to meet his thought more intimately by translating Wholeness and the Implicate Order into Italian. But the nature of the gatherings themselves was quite significant of my life trajectory and in some sense, I believe, also of David's trajectory. The first one was the 1970 Varenna Summer School, nicknamed "the Woodstock of the dissidents of quantum physics". The second meeting was in Alpbach, Tyrol, in the '80s and its aim was to explore the dialogue between science and spirituality: the Dalai Lama and other famous mystics were in attendance.”

David Schrum

David Schrum received his PhD in quantum theory from Queen’s University, Canada (1971), after which he spent two years in post-doctoral studies with David Bohm at Birkbeck College, London. At Birkbeck, Schrum entered the world of Bohm’s creative and subtle philosophical approaches to physics, and of his enquiry into creativity and the structure of consciousness. He was also introduced to his professor’s interest in the philosopher J. Krishnamurti.

From 1974 until retirement Schrum taught at Cambrian College, Canada. He met with David Bohm at seminars and dialogues until Bohm’s death, and also in gatherings and meetings related to their common interest in Krishnamurti’s talks and schools.

David Schrum continues research in foundations of physics.

Presentation

“In celebrating David Bohm, we intend to explore his views of creativity and originality, and to enquire into his approach to consciousness and what may lie beyond. Bohm worked to open these issues to others, not simply as conceptual understandings but as explorations of their own, where each might come to subtlety and freedom. We will examine views of David Bohm and parallel perspectives, participating in the spirit of his deep intent that, through traveling the path of concept and reason, we come to the limits of concept and reason, and from there take yet a further step.”

F. David Peat

F. David Peat received his Ph.D from the University of Liverpool. He is an author, scientist and thinker who, for many years worked as a theoretical physicist in Canada, looking at the foundations of quantum theory and its link with general relativity. His long-term friendship with David Bohm involved an exploration of ideas in physics, space, time and the nature of consciousness.

While living in Canada, Peat also organized a series of dialogue circles with Native American Elders and Western scientists in collaboration with the Blackfoot Elder Leroy Little Bear.

F. David Peat is the author of over twenty books including Science, Order and Creativity with David Bohm, Quantum Implications: Essays in honour of David Bohm co-edited with Basil Hiley and is David Bohm’s biographer with Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm

In 1996 he settled in the village of Pari, near Siena, Italy where he runs the Pari Center for New Learning. Peat is currently engaged on a 90-minute biopic of David Bohm’s life and work.

Presentation

David’s presentation will focus on the life and ideas of David Bohm. From a somewhat difficult and humble childhood in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Bohm became a student of Oppenheimer, and close collaborator and friend of Einstein who once spoke of Bohm as his intellectual successor. Accused of Un-American activities during the McCarthy era, Bohm was exiled in Brazil before moving to Israel and then England. His scientific contributions include Hidden Variables and the Quantum Potential. He also devoted much of his time and energy to dialogues with the Indian philosopher and teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti. His interests in the limits of language led him to dialogues with Leroy Little Bear and other Native American Elders.

For additional information write to eleanor@parinetworks.org

 
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