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Branco Weiss Lecture 2023


Anticipating the future is a fundamental human desire which draws on past experiences. Predictions make us feel protected from the unexpected, they drive science, and they shape our lifestyles. The 2023 Branco Weiss Lecture explored the notion of predictability, and how science and society handle unpredictability. The audience was taken on an (un)predictable journey through clouds and climate, artificial intelligence, history of religion and the control of mechanical and quantum systems.

Five Branco Weiss Fellows – Matteo Fadel, Vincent FortuinFranziska GlassmeierMichael Mühlebach, and Aurore Schwab – addressed the topic from many different perspectives with arguments from their respective fields of research. Together, they depicted a fascinating picture of what predictability and unpredictability mean for society and science.

This Branco Weiss Lecture took place on Monday, November 20, 2023 at ETH Zurich.