Visit us!

Applications for visits in 2017-18 are now closed. 

We invite interested scholars for short visits to the Spacetime After Quantum Gravity research group, located in the philosophy departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Geneva. To facilitate visits we can offer financial assistance for travel and lodging, office facilities, and of course excellent intellectual company. Visits can be from a few days to a few weeks (or possibly longer).

Details of the invitation are found here.

A list of Chicago hotels and hostels is found here.

A list of Geneva hotels near the department can be found here.

Upcoming Visitors:

Joshua Norton (American University of Beirut), at UIC, February 2018.

Lucy James (Bristol), at Geneva, February 27 – March 9 2018.

Rawad El Skaf (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, IHPST), at Geneva, February 27 – March 13 2018.

Valeriya Chasova (Université catholique de Louvain), at Geneva, March 1-8 2018.

Niels Linnemann (Geneva), at UIC, March 12-21 2018.

Emily Waddle (University of Iowa), at UIC, March 15-22 2018.

Rasmus Jaksland (Norwegian University for Science and Technology), at Geneva, April 9 – May 4 2018.

Vera Matarese (Wuhan), at Geneva, April 23-May 4 2018.

Sonali Mohapatra (Sussex), at Geneva, May 1-14 2018.

Kian Salimkhani (Bonn), at Geneva, May 1-18 2018.

Niels Martens (RWTH Aachen), at Geneva, May 2-9 2018.

Past Visitors:

Arno Keppens (Space Pole, Belgium) at Geneva, December 19-22 2017.

Visiting the Space and Time After Quantum Gravity research group at the University of Geneva allowed me to present and extensively discuss my ongoing work on the complex systems foundations of emergent quantum gravity with, amongst others, Christian Wüthrich, Niels Linnemann, Karen Crowther, and Baptiste Le Bihan. Our sharing of views and ideas has contributed significantly to the writing of an article that is foreseen to appear in an Entropy Special Issue (http://www.mdpi.com/journal/entropy/special_issues/EmQM17). Yet next to regular work, I have been given a very warm welcome and I have been able to participate in many group activities, which made me feel as being part of the team. I am therefore very grateful for having been given this opportunity and look forward to future collaborations.

Alexei Grinbaum (CEA-Saclay) at Geneva, September 24-29 2017.

Sam Fletcher (Minnesota) at Geneva, May 22-29 2017.

Michael Miller (Pittsburgh) at UIC, May 1-5 2017.

Tiziana Vistarini (Colorado) at UIC, March 17-24 2017.

Visiting the “Space and Time After Quantum Gravity” research group at the University of Illinois at Chicago was extremely beneficial to my work and it was a truly enjoyable experience. I presented some of my metaphysical and formal work on background independence in string theory and the discussion generated by my talk was very stimulating and enlightening.

Philipp Berghofer (Graz) at Geneva, February 27-March 4 2017.

Visiting the Geneva group contributed significantly to my paper “Ontic structural realism and quantum field theory: Are there intrinsic properties at the most fundamental level of reality?” Besides receiving many helpful comments and remarks concerning my work, I have also learned much about philosophy of quantum gravity in general, had many interesting and fruitful discussions about very specific issues such as field interpretations of QFT, and most certainly had an enjoyable time. I look forward to further productive collaborations.

David Yates (Lisbon) at Geneva, November 14-25 2016.

As a metaphysician with expertise in areas of the metaphysics of science such as emergence, laws of nature, and powers ontologies, but working on extending my research into the emergence of spacetime in quantum gravity, it was extremely helpful to visit Geneva. A paper of mine on spacetime functionalism will benefit greatly from some excellent feedback both from the Geneva Beyond Spacetime group, and (via Skype) the Chicago group. In addition to presenting my work, I also attended a number of very useful seminars on philosophy of physics at Geneva, and a conference on philosophy of physics at Lausanne. All in all, my visit was a very busy and productive time, which has helped to set my research agenda for the coming year. I look forward to future collaborations with the project team.

Tushar Menon (Oxford University) at UIC, November 9-16 2016.

My visit to UIC in November 2016 played a significant role in the development of large parts of my DPhil thesis. In particular, discussions of non-commutative field theories with Nick Huggett and Keizo Matsubara made a huge difference to my approach to the conceptual foundations of spacetime theories and quantum gravity in general.

Marko Vojinovic (Belgrade) at Geneva, October 17-24 2016.

My visit to Geneva was certainly both beneficial and enjoyable! Up to now, my collaboration with philosophers of science has been quite limited, so visiting the Geneva group was both stimulating and enlightening for me.

I thank everyone in Geneva for the hospitality! Hopefully we will collaborate even more in the future.

Tatyana Shestakova (Southern Federal University, Rostovon-Don) at Geneva, October 3-14 2016.

I enjoyed this visit, and I am grateful to all members of the Geneva group. Now I am preparing a paper on the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory and its possible role in constructing quantum gravity, it is based on my talk in Geneva, and in the final version of my paper I am going to take into account the results of our discussion with the members of the Chicago group. Many thanks to everybody again! I hope our collaboration will be continued.

Karen Crowther (Geneva) at UIC, April 18-29 2016.

Giuliano Torrengo (Milan) at Geneva, April 12-21 2016.

James Read (Oxford) at UIC, April 5-13 2016.

My visit to Chicago in April 2016 was certainly beneficial – discussing with Keizo Matsubara and Nick Huggett gave me the opportunity to expand and improve upon my B.Phil. thesis. The thesis went on to get high marks and win awards; I’m confident this wouldn’t have been the case without the trip. I’m currently working on a few papers (relating to spacetime in string theory, and the foundations of general relativity), which also came out – at least in part – from work undertaken on that visit.

Jonathan Dorsey (Texas Tech) at Geneva, March 20-25 2016.

My visit helped me with several papers. Directly, two papers, one concerning the problem of defining the physical and the second concerning my own definitional approach. This material (especially the material from the former paper) is what I presented while there. My visit helped indirectly with two other papers, one concerning the possibility of point particles and the second concerning the nature of space. I discussed this material informally with the excellent pre-doctoral students there. The visit was generally, from start to finish, very stimulating and very productive.

Alastair Wilson (Birmingham) at UIC, February 22-March 1st 2016.

My work most certainly was aided by the visit to UIC. The paper that I presented there (forthcoming in a project volume) obviously has been significantly improved and shaped by the comments and feedback, but another substantial paper of mine (“Metaphysical Causation”) benefited significantly, especially from discussions with Mahrad Almotahari, about how to cash out my ‘meta-dependence’ proposal. This paper is just about to appear online in Nous.

As well as the feedback on my own work, it was great to talk with Keizo Matsubara, Nick Huggett and Richard Dawid at some length. Dawid’s work is of great interest to me but I’d never met him previously, so I’m grateful for that opportunity. Likewise, it was very good to get to talk to Nick properly for the first time.

Moreover, Chicago is a great environment to get some thinking and work done, and I had an overall generally productive visit. 

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