*AISB Members Workshop VIII: Serendipity Symposium*
On June 15th, 2017, we will be holding a one-day symposium on the theme of ‘serendipity’. This will be the first attempt to gather the world’s leading ‘serendiptologists’ in one room. Our aim is for this event to bring together researchers in computing, the arts, sciences, and other fields of cultural endeavor. To mark the historic nature of this occasion we plan to meet in the Waldegrave Drawing Room at St Mary’s University, adjacent to Strawberry Hill House, the gothic castle in Twickenham built by Horace Walpole, who invented the concept of ‘serendipity’ in 1754. A tour of Strawberry Hill House will be included in the programme.
As sociologists Merton and Barber noted, Walpole’s term was only mentioned in print 135 times prior to 1957: since then it has seen explosive uptake — in the arts, in technology, and especially in their intersection. 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the 1968 exhibit on ‘Cybernetic Serendipity’ curated by Jasia Reichardt at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), which brought together some of the leading minds in simulation and synthesis, and left a lasting impact on fields ranging from electronic music to interactive sculpture, and helped bring about the formation of the British Computer Arts Society.
We are honoured to welcome Jasia Reichardt as our first keynote speaker. And we are beyond lucky to have a second keynote presented by another eminent figure in serendipity research: Dr Pek van Andel, joint recipient of the 2000 Ig Nobel prize in Medicine. Dr van Andel's most recent book "C'est quoi la sérendipité ? : 80 décovertes due au hasard qui ont bouleversé le course de l'histoire" was published by Le Courrier du Livre in April of this year.
To round out the programme, we invite 20-minute talks on the theme of serendipity from across the disciplines. Along with eight short talks and two keynotes, our schedule for the day includes a morning Writers Workshop, in which we invite participants into an in-depth discussion of our preprint “Modelling Serendipity in a Computational Context”.
Talk abstracts of up to 250 words are requested (key dates below). Subject to participant interest we may propose an edited volume or journal special issue at a later date.
This symposium is part of the AISB Member Symposium series, and registration is free for AISB members.
*Key Dates and Deadlines* Abstract Submission — 23rd May, 2017 Notification of Decision — 30st May, 2017 Registration deadline — 7th June, 2017 Symposium — 15th June, 2017
*Host Institution* St Mary's University Waldegrave Road Strawberry Hill Twickenham, TW1 4SX
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