Public lecture series focuses on vision



How we see the world around us is crucial to our understanding of it. This year's Darwin College lecture series explores this topic, asking how we define colour, how animals adapt their eyesight to survive and how we perceive visual space.

Vision plays an important role in how we perceive and understand the world around us
- Prof Mary Fowler

This year's series opens tomorow (Friday 18 January) with a talk from Professor Paul Fletcher from Cambridge Neuroscience and the Department of Psychiatry. Professor Fletcher will be discussing how the brain models and constructs the world around us. 

Each year, the series tackles an important theme and this year the subject is 'vision'. Over the course of eight lectures, speakers will delve into topics ranging from our perception of colour, how we view the Universe to how our computers use vision. This is the 34th lecture series and the talks are open to everyone. 

The series continues on 25 Jan with Professor Anya Hulbert of Newcastle University discussing colour perception. It's followed by Professor Dan-Eric Nilsson from Lund University who studies how eyes in the animal kingdom have evolved. Sophie Hackford of Wired Magazine will examine how computers see the world, both the physical world and the ever expanding quantities of data they store. Professor Carlo Rovelli of the University of Aix-Marseille will discuss the current understanding of physical reality and new ways that are being developed to visualise it.   

Dr Carolin Crawford, from Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, will discuss how we view the Universe, by delving back to the stargazing of ancient times and bringing us up to date with the giant telescopes of the modern day. The following week Professor Andrew Blake, of the Samsung AI Research Centre, will consider whether we can trust the visual judgment of computers in critical tasks such as autonomous vehicles. The series closes with Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, of the School of Advanced Study, University of London, who will discuss how our eyes perceive distance and how that interacts with art and architecture.

The lectures are held every Friday during Lent term (18 Jan - 8 March) at Lady Mitchell Hall on the Sidgwick site. The lectures are free and start at 17.30 but you are advised to get there early to make sure of a seat. More information can be found at:

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Image: Eye

Credit: Skitterphoto

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge

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