Now reading: Physics, finance, and the value of evidence

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Physics, finance, and the value of evidence

James Weatherall was a physicist before he became a philosopher. Today, he is a professor of logic and philosophy of science at University of California, Irvine.

His day job probes some tough issues. How, exactly, does physics fit with finance? What lessons (if any) did we learn from the 2008 economic crash? As the world enters a “post-truth” era, should scientists step forward to advocate for science?

When he visited Perimeter Institute in February 2017 to deliver a public lecture on the physics of finance, he sat down for an interview with Inside the Perimeter.

In the clip above, Weatherall explains how money, physics, and the complexity of math affect the global economy.

Weatherall’s next big project is to work with fellow philosopher Cailin O’Connor to explore the role and value of evidence in a “post-truth” world. In the clip below, he discusses why evidence matters, how it has fallen out of favour, and whether it’s a scientist’s role to advocate for science.


Below is Weatherall’s full Perimeter Public Lecture, “The Physics of Wall Street.”


Each episode, a new researcher will join the co-hosts for a wide-ranging conversation about the process, challenges, and rewards of a life in science.

/Apr 07, 2022

In this special webcast on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7 pm ET, physicist Manuel Calderón de la Barca Sánchez will share and discuss excerpts from Secrets of the Universe, an IMAX documentary co-produced by Perimeter.

/Oct 28, 2021

Physicist Naoko Kurahashi Neilson will share her experiences researching fundamental particles at the remote IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica. 

/Sep 28, 2021