School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

In Our Time on Pauli’s exclusion principle

Michaela Massimi, Professor in Philosophy of Science here at Edinburgh, to feature on BBC Radio 4’s  ‘In Our Time’.

The discussion on Thursday 6th April will focus on Wolfgang Pauli, a renowned theoretical physicist. Professor Massimi will join broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and fellow academics to discuss his work, with a particular theme being his Exclusion Principle – a key idea in quantum mechanics, which contributed to Pauli’s being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1945.

The programme will be live on Radio 4 at 9 am on Thursday 6 April, and will be available to listen to online shortly after broadcast.

In Our Time: Pauli's Exclusion Principle 

Professor Massimi’s own work involves extensive interdisciplinary research looking at the historic and scientific roots of philosophy. She leads the University of Edinburgh’s research cluster in the philosophy of science and is also project leader on the department’s hugely successful “Philosophy and the Sciences” MOOCs. These are two free online courses open to anyone with an interest in exploring traditional and contemporary debates in philosophy of physics, and of cognitive science.

A major ongoing work Professor Massimi has undertaken is the 4-year, 1.6 million euro, ERC project on perspectival realism which began last year. The project incorporates an innovative interdisciplinary approach, using knowledge of physics, history of science and philosophy, and philosophy of science. Perspectivism is the theory that knowledge is inevitably limited by the perspective of the individual. The project seeks to look at whether knowledge that is perspectival can also be true, and thus compatible with the idea that reality exists fully independent of our conceptual schemes, perceptions, beliefs, etc.

Thursday is not Professor Massimi’s first appearance on In Our Time - check out these previous episodes here:

Bishop Berkeley


The Scientific Method

And don’t forget to see Professor Massimi at the Edinburgh International Science Festival on 13 April!

The Hunt for Supersymmetric Particles