22-26 August 2011, Porto, Portugal
The Importance of Astronomy and Physics in the Modern World
Carlos Martins (CAUP)
We live in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology. A scientific culture, even at a basic level, is essential for a society to be able to make informed decisions about the great challenges of our time, that beyond other aspects (economical, political, ethical,...) have a strong underlying scientific component that is not always obvious.
After a brief introduction to the scientific method and to the role of science in society, we will discuss the biggest of these challenges: global warming.
Born in Viana do Castelo (Portugal), Carlos Martins graduated from the University of Porto in 1993 with an interdisciplinary Physics and Applied Mathematics degree, and obtained his PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge in 1997. He works at the interface between astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics, focusing on testing theories of the early universe observationally. He is currently the coordinator of the Galaxies and Observational Cosmology team at CAUP, where he supervises the research projects of 7 students, In 2010 he received one of the Outstanding Referee Awards from the American Physical Society. Outside office hours he can often be found at classical music concerts or hiking; he is also an avid reader and has a slight addiction to chocolate.