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WISDOM OF THE CROWD

1:00pm-2:00pm on Saturday 9 April

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 26th March. For events on or after 27th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, CB1 1PT

In this talk, philosopher Henrik Schoeneberg traces back ideas about our collective consciousness to ancient Greece, and shares the thought-provoking results of modern evidence-based research into the wisdom of the crowd. He explores the extent to which these dynamics can help society approach threats to its democratic institutions in a more resilient and nuanced fashion.

Scientist Francis Galton (Charles Darwin’s half cousin) wanted to prove that democracy does not work. He therefore asked a group of people to guess the weight of an ox and worked out the average answer. To his surprise it turned out to be remarkably close to the actual answer and he had to re-evaluate his view of democracy.

As well as reflecting on his own experiences conducting the experiment, Schoeneberg examines possible explanations into the wisdom of the crowd and explores the extent to which these dynamics can help society approach threats to its democratic institutions in a more resilient and nuanced fashion. The wisdom of the crowd raises timely questions about such things as the censorship of extreme views on social media, and the role of expert opinion in public discourse. You will be invited to take part in a wisdom of the crowd experiment during the talk.

Henrik is a philosopher from Copenhagen, Denmark, with a master’s in Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. He has published articles in internationally acclaimed magazines, such as Wired and New Humanist. He is the founder of Thales Day, an annual event to celebrate the origin of philosophy and science with an outset in its ancient Greek roots. As a fun science and philosophical exercise, the wisdom of the crowd experiment is conducted at Thales Day events.

Results are available at Thales Day

Booking/Registration is: REQUIRED

Additional Information

Age: Young Adults 12 – 18, Adults
Format: Talk
Timing: In person
Cost: Free
Event Capacity: 100
Theme: Discovery, Society
Accessibility: Full access

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