Matters of the Mind: A Discussion on Theory of Knowledge

YCIS Shanghai hosted international scientist and speaker Andy Fletcher along with select IB schools in Shanghai and Suzhou to lead a discussion on the definition of truth in science.

YCIS Shanghai hosted international scientist and speaker Andy Fletcher along with select IB schools in Shanghai and Suzhou to lead a discussion on the definition of truth in science. As an extension of IB students’ required Theory of Knowledge class, the presentation “Life, the Universe and Everything” covered a wide range of major paradigm shifts from the 20th century, including chaos theory, quantum physics and relativity.

In preparation, Head of Science Neil Hudson and IB Co-ordinator Erin Saxsma worked together to introduce Year 12 and 13 students to the definitions and mutations of paradigms. “I thought it would be good for students to see Theory of Knowledge’s application to specific subject areas, particularly physics,” said Erin Saxsma. “I also had students research and do mini presentations on one of Andy Fletcher's topics prior to his presentation—relativity, chaos theory, entropy, anthropic principle—so that they could ask good questions.”

In the end, the audience was left to decide whether there is a multiverse, or a higher power that created a universe.  “When Mr. Fletcher said ‘nothing is absolute’, it made me think about the many things we cannot be one hundred per cent certain,” says Year 12 student Lin Liping. YCIS Shanghai students continue to explore the dimensions of reason and perception as part of the IB curriculum.

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