Ratio Popular Science Forum 2017

Sofia Event Center, 10 June


What’s actually the content of our consciousness? How much of it can be digitized? And will robots take over?

Come 10 June, we’ll peer deep into the human brain, we’ll venture high in space and we’ll look farther into the future. The 6th edition of the Popular Science Forum Ratio will gather both foreign and Bulgarian speakers, who will demonstrate clearly how science fiction is becoming science fact.



Ratio 2017 will show you three main speakers who’ll present diverse topics. There will also be several exclusive participants in our discussion panel.

peter wattsPeter Watts

Peter Watts spent the first two decades of his adult life as a marine biologist. After fleeing academia for science fiction, he became known for the habit of appending technical bibliographies onto his novels; this both confers a veneer of credibility and covers his ass against nitpickers. His novel Blindsight – a rumination on the utility of consciousness – has become a required text in university courses ranging from philosophy to neuroscience.

Talk: “Conscious Ants and Human Hives”

Watts’ talk will go over some of the insanely counterintuitive findings about the nature of consciousness, ranging from insects who seem able to recognize themselves in mirrors to Humans who drive across town, commit murder, clean up the mess and drive back home again, unconscious the whole time. Also the risks we face as we start playing around with brain-to-brain interfaces and Liu et al’s “neural lace” (widely recognised after Elon Musk’s Neuralink venture was announced).

Konstantin Vassilev and Nikola Toshev

Konstantin Vassilev and Nikola Toshev are programmers with a penchant for Artificial Intelligence. They have participated in the creation of the software company WizCom, later acquired by VMWare. Now Konstantin is working on mobile apps and games, and Nikola is the co-founder of Sciant and heads the development of machine learning within the company.

Artificial Intelligence: Revolution or Evolution?

In this talk we will start from the smallest details – how neural networks work, what is the fundamental formula of AI. Konstantin and Nikola will tell us more about the AI development over the years and what the technology can do today. Then we will widen the scope and look into the future, even though there lie many unknowns. How will the automation shock change society? Will robots be our enemies or will we live in symbiosis? What will be the fate of our species?

penkov ivanchevBoyan Ivanchev and Marin Penkov

Boyan Ivanchev and Marin Penkov are the founders of The Bulgarian Neuro-Cognitive Laboratory, Inc. They explore different psychological mechanisms with the help of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). In this way they have set the foundation of Bulgarian neuroeconomics and its practical application in neuro-cognitive sciences.

Finance Management With Neuroeconomics: How Does The Brain React?

With the help of behavioral finances, neuroeconomics and fMRI, we now understand more clearly what mechanisms are at work when we take decisions with limited information and in case of uncertainty. This knowledge and skills can be applied both on an individual level, and within companies such as investment funds, insurance companies and bank institutions. They help us increase the efficiency of asset management and avoid irrational decisions.
Neuroeconomics is a discipline closely related to neuromarketing – the method many leading companies use to analyze and predict public reaction to new products, media content, advertising and political messages, design and packaging, colors and aromas, pricing strategies, retail design and much more.



Ratio 2017 will be held on 10 June 2017 starting at 10am and ending at 4pm.

10:00-10:30 – Registration
10:30-10:45 – Opening
10:45-11:45 – Peter Watts: Conscious Ants and Human Hives
11:45-12:00 – break
12:00-12:50 – Marin Penkov and Boyan Ivanchev: Managing money with neuroeconomics: How does the brain react?
12:50-13:30 – break with Ayliak beer, CoKitchen, Bratia Hlebari and Sushi Friends
13:00-13:15 – Mino Karadjov: FlyPlank project presentation
13:30-14:20 – Konstantin Vassilev and Nikola Toshev: Artificial Intelligence: Revolution or Evolution
14:20-14:35 – break
14:35-15:25 – Discussion panel on Artificial Intelligence
15:25-15:40 – break
15:40-16:30 – Question and answers time
16:30-16:40 – Closing



The tickets for Ratio 2017 are already in sale. Get your tickets before 1 June for special early bird pricing:


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