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To-Do Tonight: Brush up on your science ethics for ‘Copenhagen’

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Now here’s an interesting event: In preparation for The New Ensemble’s production of the Tony Award-winning play “Copenhagen,” which opens Nov. 11 at the Broken Leg Stage, the theater company is holding an event in conjunction with the Central Valley Café Scientifique 7 p.m. today at The Landmark. Guest speaker is Ray Hall, a professor of physics at Fresno State. I checked in with artistic director Heather Parish to learn more about the evening.

Question: How did this collaboration come about?

Answer: One of The New Ensemble’s objectives for the next year is to reach out to a wide variety of community groups and find ways to cross-pollinate. Considering the subject-matter of “Copenhagen”, a community partnership with Central Valley Café Scientifique seemed a good match. I contacted them with the details of our play and they suggested we meet. The most natural scenario seemed to be co-presenting a Cafe Scientifique topic during their regular meeting and promote to both audiences. It is a win-win for both organizations. We’re all very excited.

Is this the first time New Ensemble has teamed up with Central Valley Café Scientifique?

Yes, this is first time we’ve teamed up with Café Scientifique. I and a few other ensemble members had been to a few of their presentations before and were familiar with their mission.

How did this collaboration come about?

One of The New Ensemble’s objectives for the next year is to reach out to a wide variety of community groups and find ways to cross-pollinate. Considering the subject-matter of “Copenhagen”, a community partnership with Central Valley Café Scientifique seemed a good match. I contacted them with the details of our play and they suggested we meet. The most natural scenario seemed to be co-presenting a Cafe Scientifique topic during their regular meeting and promote to both audiences. It is a win-win for both organizations. We’re all very excited.

What will the format of the event be? Will the performed scenes be interspersed throughout the discussion?

Dr. Ray Hall of the CSU Fresno physics department will be speaking and the cast of “Copenhagen” will be presenting small segments of the play that relate to the topics Dr. Hall raises. The play illustrates through analogy and language the concepts of the presentation.

The topic is “Physics and Ethics.” What do you think will be some of the main points raised?

Most of the presentation will be on the concepts essential to a basic understanding of physics and that are also raised in the play– the Uncertainty Principle, Complementarity, Schrodinger’s Cat, etc– but at the end, we raise a very important ethical question regarding the use of atomic physics in our world today. It is that question that is at the heart of “Copenhagen”.

Responses to "To-Do Tonight: Brush up on your science ethics for ‘Copenhagen’"

KJ says:

Totally cool event.
Would love to see more collaborations like this.