To Infinity and Beyond: The Universe as Experiment

Prof.dr. Heino Falcke, Prof.dr. Vincent Icke
Woensdag 15 december , 20:00 - 21:30 (uitverkocht)
Blauwe Zaal Auditorium & livestream via MS Teams
Prijs: Gratis (Student) Gratis (Anderen)

Is it rational to believe in things beyond the observable? A conversation with theoretical astrophysicists Prof.dr. Heino Falcke and Prof.dr. Vincent Icke about the limits of evidence, life as an experiment, and the life vision of a scientist. Can a scientist believe in God?

This program is organized jointly by students of Veritas-forum Eindhoven and Studium Generale (TU/e).

If you look up at the sky on a clear night, you will see a beautifully radiant, fascinating starry sky above you. Although many years of research have enormously enriched our knowledge about the universe, it still remains a great mystery. What lies beyond the unknown?

For renowned scientists Prof.dr. Heino Falcke and Prof.dr. Vincent Icke, understanding the universe is the ultimate scientific challenge. Falcke is world famous for presenting the first ever image of a black hole (April 2019); Icke is acclaimed for his years of research in the fields of astronomy and cosmology, as well as his attempts to make science accessible and understandable for the general public. Both conduct scientific research in the same tradition. However, a dive into their beliefs about the power of science, their own talents, and their view of everything around them reveals two staunchly different visions. Except for, perhaps, one thing: the experiment.

Together and with the audience, Falcke and Icke will discuss their views on doing science in relation to their attitudes toward life and to their views about the inexplicable. Is it necessary to be able to prove everything? What role do assumptions play in scientific experiments? Are faith and science at odds, or are they an enrichment of each other and of life? A conversation about motives, about knowing and not knowing, and about belief and disbelief.

The conversation will be moderated by science journalist Ans Hekkenberg. She is an editor at the popular science monthly New Scientist. Ans Hekkenberg speaks and writes about physics, astronomy, technology, and the importance of diversity in science.


Prof.dr. Heino Falcke is a professor of Astroparticle Physics and Radio Astronomy at the Institute for Mathematics, Astronomy and Particle Physics (IMAPP) in the Faculty of Science (Radboud University, Nijmegen). His research focusses on super massive black holes and jets. Last year, he published his book Licht in de duisternis (Prometheus, October 2020).

Prof.dr. Vincent Icke is an astrophysicist, artist, designer, and writer. He is a professor of Theoretical Astronomy at Leiden University, and a professor of Cosmology at the University of Amsterdam. Besides being active in research, he attempts to make science accessible and understandable for the general public via, for example, tv talk shows, popular science books, daily and weekly papers, and videos.

The Veritas Forum

A Veritas Forum is an event organized at a university to discuss the big life questions from a scientific, religious, and philosophical perspective. This Veritas Forum is organized jointly by students of Veritas-forum Eindhoven and Studium Generale (TU/e).

You can visit this program on campus or watch it online via a livestream in MS Teams.

On campus: ticket reservation required

This program will take place on campus for a limited group of visitors. The number of visitors that we can accommodate for this program is limited due to the Covid-19 measures. Making a reservation via the website (black "order" button) is therefore mandatory if you want to attend this program on campus.

Via livestream: do not reserve a ticket

This program will also be streamed live via MS Teams. You can attend by clicking on this LINK TO LIVESTREAM. Please do not book a ticket if you want to watch the livestream.

SG & USE registration

On campus:
Please register your participation on the spot when attending the program on campus, by scanning your student card before the start of the program at the venue.

Online via livestream:

  • Do not make a reservation if you want to watch the program online via the livestream.
  • You can only register for SG&USE if you watch the entire program live via MS Teams and are logged in with your TU/e student email account ( i.e., you can’t watch it at a later time) and if you complete an online SG&USE registration form within five minutes after the end of the program. Before the program starts, we will explain where and when you can find the link to the registration form. You will need to have your student ID number on hand because you'll need it to fill out the form. Please make sure your registration is done properly, otherwise we will not be able to verify that you were present. 
  • 300 online viewers can enter the MS teams environment to watch the livestream. First come, first serve, so make sure you are on time, also to qualify for the SG&USE registration!

More information about SG & USE can be found here.

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