DIRDI Dinner 2023

Michaelmas 2023 Termly Dinner

DIRDI’s first termly dinner of the 2023/2024 Academic Year was held on the 29th November 2023 and was enjoyed by a number of Fellows and Members.

We are grateful to Professor Paula Chadwick, Professor Ann Maclarnon, Dr Amitabh Trehan, Professor Sana Salous, Professor Adekunle Adeyeye, Dr Jen Topping, Professor Daniel Maitre, Dr Michael Hunt, Dr Cristina Zambon, Professor Ashraf Khir, Dr Bartolomeo Panto, Dr Robert Banks, Professor Jeffrey Giansiracusa, and Professor Ritu Kataky for joining us in the SCR Dining Room at Hatfield College for this event.

The evening saw much interaction between fellows, as fellows from the departments of Physics, Engineering, Computer Sciences, Chemistry, Biosciences, Mathematics, and Anthropology were brought together.

The highlight of the evening was two addresses given by Professor Jefferey Giansiracusa and Professor Adekunle Adeyeye on the theme of ‘Invention’. Professor Adeyeye spoke about the challenges associated with invention and the dangers investors can pose to researchers who produce new inventions.

Afterwards, Professor Giansiracusa spoke about the inventions brought about by AI, and how AI can be distinguished from humans due to its lack of creativity. Tools like ChatGPT require a human ‘prompt’ in order to function, which demonstrates their inherent shortfall, despite their ever increasing capabilities.

An exciting announcement came from the Head of DIRDI, Mr Daniel Dobrowolski, with the launch of our first annual ‘Impact and Invention’ Conference. On 21 March 2024, this event in Durham University’s Teaching and Learning Centre will bring together speakers from industry and academia to showcase their pioneering work across multiple scientific disciplines.

Overall, it was a wonderful evening where we were lucky enough to get to host an intellectually rich and diverse group of people, who contributed greatly to an evening of interdisciplinary discussion and scientific exchange. Thank you to all those who attended and to Hatfield College for facilitating. From Epiphany 2024, these dinners will be held twice per term due to their popularity.