The first of a series of 3 Slide Talks featured the works of three Clare Hall Postdoctoral researchers. In light of the political climate and several landmark elections that have taken place this year around the world, Dr Irmtraud Huber from the Faculty of English invited audience members to contemplate the political responsibility that we as researchers have. Using only three slides, Dr Huber stimulated a lively discussion about how sciences and humanities arrive at the truths of this world and the impact that ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ have on our discipline.
Following on from this talk, Dr Naoya Iwata from the Faculty of Classics delved into the process of analysis, conducted by Greek philosophers, to question how we understand the world around us. Drawing on the work of Plato, who was the first to adapt geometrical analysis to philosophical methodology, Dr Iwata invited the audience to share their views on a new research question that he is currently exploring. The discussion of how we create and understand knowledge was complemented by the last speaker, Dr Paul Nulty from the Digital Humanities Group (CRASSH), who gave a fascinating talk on the latest machine learning techniques employed by computers to understand and parse large amounts of data, in particular, political discourse online. He looked at how natural language-processing techniques are deployed to understand co-occurrences of words, and how lexical-semantic structures of political terms from libertarian and socialist communities compare.
After a brief question and answer session, discussions continued well into the evening over pizza and drinks.
The Clare Hall Postdoc Committee truly appreciates the enthusiasm and insights that the speakers shared and look forward to our next 3 Slide Talk on 1 December.