Science friction and the VR empathy machine - that's interesting!

22 February 19:00-22:00, Råhuset, Copenhagen
Science friction and the VR empathy machine - that's interesting!

that's interesting! is a concept that brings together two early career scholars on stage to disseminate their research so you can learn not only what they know, but also how they know what they know - while enjoying a pint of your favourite beverage from the bar. It takes place last Wednesday every month at 'Råhuset' in the Meatpacking District, in walking distance from Copenhagen Central. Participation is free. No need to register, just show up. Doors open at 19:00. Programme starts 19:30. 


SCIENCE FRICTION – stories from the world of fundamental research 

Maximilian Zwicker, Technical University of Denmark 

Have you ever thought about how a beer can is produced and what friction during the production does to the can? We are sending robots to Mars, diving to the deepest areas of the oceans and developing mRNA vaccines, but how much do we actually know about the effects of friction on production process of a simple beer can? How much further did we develop our ideas since those of Da Vinci? Max will not only give an answer to these question but also reflect on the world of #fundamentalresearch in #engineering. He will share insights into what #fundamentalscience in engineering means, the challenges in the field, and what that means for what we actually know about the world around us. 

ON THE LIMITS OF THE EMPATHY MACHINE: Questioning the use of virtual reality for humanitarian purposes 

Daniel Møller Ølgaard, Lund University 

Virtual Reality (VR) technology has proliferated during the last couple of years, where it has often been spoken about as an ‘empathy machine’ due to the technology’s ability to simulate the feeling of ‘being there’. For that reason, #VR has also increasingly attracted the interest of humanitarian organisations, from the UN to the ICRC, which see the media technology as a valuable tool for engaging Western audiences in the human consequences of distant disasters. In his talk, Daniel speaks against this optimism and provides a critical analysis of the limits of virtual humanitarianism as well as the problematic implications that the use of VR for humanitarian purposes can have. To that end, he draws on his examination of the Danish Red Cross VR experience ‘Sense of Home’, which is based on in-depth interviews with central actors in the development and dissemination of the VR experience as well as an auto-ethnographic depiction of the experience from the perspective of the researcher. 

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The event is supported by ReNEW. 



The event for April is also already announced and will be part of the Danish Science Festival (Forskningens Døgn). 

Algorithms, Data, Democracy - that’s interesting! 26 April 19:00-22:00, Råhuset, Copenhagen 

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