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If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

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FQXi BLOGS
November 25, 2017

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Agency in the Physical World – FQXi’s Next Research Program [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Oct. 28, 2017 @ 13:40 GMT
During our ten year history, we have worked to grow a community of researchers with an ever-widening realm of expertise. The important word here is community — our mission is to connect researchers who might have otherwise never known about each other.

Part of our strategy has been the use of themed programs — The Nature of Time, Physics of Information, The Physics of What Happens. Our most recent program attracted neurophysicists, computer scientists, sociologists, as well as the more “usual” physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers, together under the theme of Physics of the Observer.

We are proud now to announce our next venture, Agency in the Physical World. It follows our intellectual trajectory over the past programs, drawing deep connections from the most fundamental descriptions in physics and cosmology, to description in terms of observers, agents, and conscious beings. The program is a partnership between FQXi and the Fetzer Franklin Fund, a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting foundational questions at the frontiers of physics, biology, and consciousness research.

The program features our familiar components for building community: a conference, essay contests, Large grants, and Mini-Grant rounds. Our first essay contest has just launched, and the Large Grant round will open in the coming weeks — please stay tuned for that announcement.

The program also supports research by the two “B-Area” centers — B for Boston and (San Francisco) Bay — formed during FQXi’s Physics of the Observer program. The work of the B-Area centers will try to better understand agency in physical systems through their capabilities to learn, to predict, to process information, and to choose. The centers also will serve as hubs for visits and other interactions that connect all researchers around the world funded by the APW program.

We envision the APW program will lead researchers to question how we define, identify, and measure agency, intelligence, and consciousness, and to investigate how these concepts fit into our current physical theories. These questions are contentious and difficult, even within the context of FQXi’s usual ambit of thorny topics.

But of course, that’s why we’re asking them!

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Bashir Yusuf wrote on Oct. 29, 2017 @ 01:48 GMT
Dear Brendan.

This is a quick response of the essay.

I hope that this question can lead good understanding of nature's most important Fundamental issue.

Only questionings without open and awakened mind can't we succeed it.

I have some difficult to understand, the relations of FQXI's Foundational questions and Fundamental of the nature, but I am sure that "Most of the...

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Paolo Di Sia wrote on Nov. 1, 2017 @ 13:09 GMT
Dear all, I am interested in being involved in a project, in a group with a "critical mass", studying the fascinating issues of the FQXi community.

Thanks for your consideration.

Paolo Di Sia - http://www.paolodisia.com

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helen olin wrote on Nov. 10, 2017 @ 14:49 GMT
Nice topic!! Physical World agency which has increased their mobility, These components of critical infrastructure are often privatised.

website

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 13, 2017 @ 17:52 GMT
Hello Mr Foster,

Good vast topic in fact.For me of course the sphères are foundamentals:)

Best regards

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