Are you ready to take a closer look at the stars and ask yourself the question „Why?“
We’ll see you on November 11 аt Sofia Tech Park! There, you’ll meet international speakers with captivating tоpics that will make you search for answers and will inspire you. Of course, even the most complex topics will be presented in an entertaining simple language.
All you need for this scientific journey is a ticket – get yours now!
From prehistory, through the complicated relationship between man and the stars, to Artificial Intelligence and all this united by the desire to learn more. The topics of Ratio Forum are varied so that everyone can discover something new. The schedule features four talks that we will present here to you in time.
All talks will be held in English, with the exception of „Misinformation in the AI era“.
The Importance of Being Interested
The human brain possesses qualities that have no equivalent like the ability to think and this distinguishes the human being from other species. However, how much we develop this organ depends on us, and this process starts from the earliest childhood.
As a child, everyone had a hated subject at school and asked themselves the question: „Why do I have to study this?“ Now as adults, try to imagine life without science. Robin Ince will talk about the importance of being interested and the benefits of science as a discipline.
We will look at it, not only as a safe scientist’s territory but as an intellectual adventure for anyone curious about knowledge. We will talk about great scientists, the benefits of doubt, admitting that we don’t know everything, and the need to maintain a childlike curiosity throughout our lives.
One of our species’ most enduring and universal relationships has been with the night sky itself, yet in the glow of today’s artificial lighting, we have forgotten this intimacy with the cosmos.
We are used to looking at the sky and seeing it full with stars (or at least from the places outside the cities) and that they are an inseparable part of life on Earth. But what would happen if we couldn’t see them?
We will look at the stars just to follow how stargazing has shaped the course of human civilization. Our journey will start from prehistoric times to understand the future and the role of Artificial Intelligence in astronomy and the study of the starry sky. We will also consider a darker scenario where we will talk about light pollution, ecological crisis and trying to imagine what life on Earth would be like, if we could not see the stars.
Misinformation in the AI era (in Bulgarian)
Although humans used to live without daily access to news, there are numerous examples of misinformation and propaganda in the past. With the rise of AI, this problem takes completely new forms. Today, we are presented with a real tsunami of fake news and misinformation.
Can humanity keep its right to information and combat the new technologies of news manipulation?
On stage, we will welcome four Bulgarian experts in the field of news and media: Eneya Georgieva, Nikola Tulechki, Mirolyuba Benatova and Milena Yakimova.
They will discuss misinformation’s spread and the information bubbles we put ourselves into by interacting with social media content. They will also highlight specific examples of the (sometimes manipulative) way a single piece of news is reported on in different media. They same topic will continue its life in our exhibition area.
The Secrets of the Deep Ocean
The oceans and seas cover more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. And yet much of it is still unexplored. What dazzling organisms lurk in the deep? The inhabitants of the deep ocean hold many secrets, and innovative technologies are shedding new light on these crucial ecosystems.
Marine scientist Louise Alcock will help us dive deep into the ocean and to show us the spectacular deep-sea coral ecosystems, deep-sea squids and octopus. She will explore the evolutionary drivers that have contributed to the enormous faunal diversity, and shows how this biodiversity has unexpected benefits for humanity through the evolution of enzymes with potential uses in research and even criminology, and chemical compounds with the potential to combat disease.
Ratio is not just about what happens on stage. In our exhibition area, we will give a visual representation of the misinformation topic. By wielding the light of reason, you’ll be able to see different points of view of the same main news topic. You’ll explore the relationships between science facts and media representation and see how close or distant they could be.
This complex topic will be brought to life thanks to Studio Phormatik. They use special interactive technologies with awe-inspiring results. The team brings together different media types, video, and 3D mapping to give us a different perspective on the relationship between technology and art.
Robin Ince is an English comedian, actor and writer, known for presenting the BBC popular science series “The Infinite Monkey Cage” with physicist Brian Cox. He is the winner of the „Golden Rose“ and the „Arthur K. Clarke“ award for scientific communication. Robin Ince is an author of several books, including “ I’m a Joke and You Too”, “Bibliophile”, and “The Importance of Being Curious”, which is out this fall. He was awarded author of the year by the Bookseller’s Association of UK in 2022 and an honorary fellow of the British science association.
Louise Allcock is professor of zoology at the University of Galway. She is perhaps best known for her work on ecology and evolution of the cephalopods of the Southern Ocean and deep sea. She is the editor of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Roberto Trotta is a cosmologist, author and professor of theoretical physics at the International School for Advanced Study in Trieste, Italy. His research focuses on astrostatistics, cosmology and machine learning. His research in cosmology is about analyzing, interpreting and making sense of cosmological observations, in order to learn more about the properties and nature of dark matter and dark energy. He develops and applies new methods in Bayesian statistics and data analysis, machine learning, deep learning, and AI with the goal of understanding the history and nature of the Universe. An award-winning author and science communicator, he is the recipient of the Annie Maunder Medal 2020 of the Royal Astronomical Society for his public engagement work. His new book, STARBORN – how the stars made us (and who we would be without them) is out now.
Milena Yakimova teaches Sociology in Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“. She has written the books „Sofia of the common folk (with a Smart Ass – Bulgarian dictionary)“ and „How is a social problem born?“ Her scientific interests lie in the fields of urban studies, collective identity, social theory and social critics.
Nikola Tulechki is a linguist, data expert and part of the team of Factcheck. bg – the first platform in Bulgaria that deals exclusively with fact-checking. He completed his PhD in Toulouse (France) on the applications of automatic language processing to aviation incident reports. He has been working as a data expert at Ontotext since 2017, where he mainly works on semantic modeling and data integration.
Eneya Georgieva’s experience as an editor and journalist has proven to her that artificial intelligence is a key tool for catching false facts and manipulative content. That’s why, since 2022 Eneya stands behind Ontotext’s cause for developing technological solutions to combat fake news. She is helping AI to take a role as our ally in identifying false news and preventing it from spreading. Eneya is an editor at Forbes Bulgaria and part of the Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria. Previously, she has written financial and economic analyses for Economic. bg and mag. Economics.
|11:15-12:00||Roberto Trotta - STARBORN|
|12:25-13:15||The Secrets of the Deep Ocean|
|14:00-15:00||Misinformation in the AI era (in Bulgarian)|
|15:25-16:05||Robin Ince - The Importance of Being Interested|
|16:25-17:20||Questions and Answers|
We’re looking forward to seeing you at Sofia Tech Park!
Sofia Tech Park has multi-level parking with a capacity of 500 places. Parking is paid, but there’s a new lower tariff on weekends – 1 lev for every 2 hours of your stay. The first 15 minutes are free of charge.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Although we have a full day packed with activities and interesting talks, you can join us later, too. The registration is open throughout the whole day, so you can come whenever you like.
Although your ticket has your name on it, that is solely used for our administration. We don’t check names at the door, so you can give the ticket to another person and you don’t need to write to us to change it. For Concession tickets we will need to verify that the ticket carrier has active student rights or has a senior card.
No, you can just download your ticket on your mobile phone and let us scan the QR code at the entrance
Sofia Tech Park’s parking is paid, but there’s a new lower tariff on weekends – 1 lev for every 2 hours of your stay. The first 15 minutes are free of charge. You will need to validate your parking ticket at the machines in the parking building and pay your parking fee before leaving.
Since the program spans several hours and most of it is happening inside, we will not be able to let in pets at the event.
Every ticket holder has access to a lunch pack provided by our partners from CoKitchen. There are vegetarian and vegan options, too. If you have other dietary requirements, please, ask the team at the lunch tables for the full list of ingredients. You can also grab a cup of coffee during our coffee breaks. Water will be available at the premises, too.
If you want to catch up on breakfast or satisfy your sweet tooth, we will have a stand with some pastries available for you to purchase. There will also be a beer bar from lunch time onwards.