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Arising from the 2019 Darwin College Lectures, this book presents essays from seven prominent public intellectuals on the theme of vision. Each author examines this theme through the lens of their own particular area of expertise, making for a lively interdisciplinary volume including chapters on neuroscience, colour perception, biological evolution, astronomy, the future of technology, computer vision, and the visionary core of science. Featuring contributions by professors of neuroscience Paul Fletcher and Anya Hurlbert, professor of zoology Dan-Eric Nilsson, the futurist Sophie Hackford, Microsoft distinguished scientist Andrew Blake, theoretical physicist and author Carlo Rovelli, and Dr Carolin Crawford, the Public Astronomer at the University of Cambridge, this volume will be of interest to anybody curious about how we see the world.
The 34th Darwin College Lecture Series, held in 2019, addressed Vision. The aim of these lectures, as with all the Darwin College Lectures, was to provide an interdisciplinary study. The lectures range widely: they survey the mechanisms of visual perception, and the evolution of eyes; they address the mental processes underpinning vision, and the nature and significance of private visions and hallucinations; they explore the vision and imagery of artists and of scientists in their endeavours to elucidate the world. The discussions encompass astronomical observation, which enables us to look back over the evolution of the Universe to the earliest epochs, and they extend to foresight, with a vision of a digital future. We conclude this volume with a review of the current developments of computer vision, which increasingly underpin our day-to-day experience of surveillance and of automation.