ICTP-SAIFR Distinguished Public Lecture by Curtis Callan

Title: The Biological Future of Theoretical Physics

Speaker: Curtis Callan (Princeton University, USA)

Date and time: January 23, 2019 – 14h

Venue: Auditorium of IFT-UNESP

Download the poster here

Watch on Youtube

There is no registration fee, but you should register online until January 21, 2019 (closed). Space is limited and priority will be given to undergraduate and graduate students in physics and related areas.


The very success of theoretical physics in elucidating the structure of matter at the smallest scales, and of the universe at the largest scales, has made the future course of this discipline uncertain. At the same time, the new ability of biological experiment to produce massive data is creating an urgent need for mathematical frameworks in biology of the kind theoretical physics has traditionally provided for physical science. These overlapping “crises” offer a golden opportunity for both disciplines to collaborate. I will expand on this theme, and sketch some specific examples of  how theoretical physicists are taking up this challenge.


Curt Callan was trained as a theoretical particle physicist at Princeton University. After holding positions at a number of institutions including Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study, he returned to Princeton University, where he is now the J. S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics. His work has evolved from studying quantum field theory to string theory and, in recent years, to biological physics. He has been active in leading the physics community, including serving as the President of the American Physical Society, and in his work advising the US government on the implications of physics. His honors include the 2000 Sakurai Medal and the 2004 Dirac Prize.

The main purpose of ICTP-SAIFR public lectures is to bring outstanding international scientists to discuss and inform the general public about recent physics discoveries. For more information, send email to secretary@ictp-saifr.org .