International conference “Eternity between Space and Time: from Consciousness to the Cosmos” (EST)

Dal 19.05.2022 al 21.05.2022

The international conference “Eternity between Space and Time: from Consciousness to the Cosmos” (EST) takes on a theme that is as important as it is impressive: eternity.
We are used to thinking about what is spatially and temporally limited, so it is very difficult to conceive of the absolute absence of perimeters, as the concept of eternity implies. The greatest thinkers in history have always grappled with this challenge, which EST has adhered to by opening up a debate between scholars from different disciplines, from physics to psychology, from philosophy to theology.

Encounters between different disciplines are always fruitful, as we know from the experience of the middle of last century in Palo Alto, California, when physicists, biologists, psychologists, sociologists, mathematicians and cyberneticians met to work together on a meta-theory that could combine the contents of different skills. This hybridisation gave rise to the General Systems Theory. These experiences lead to the so-called ‘scientific revolutions’.

Under the scientific direction of Ines Testoni, Fabio Scardigli and Andrea Toniolo, EST brings together Nobel Prize winners (Penrose and T’Hooft) and world-renowned researchers (including Veneziano, Faggin, Plebani, Appel and Cacciari) to discuss how to deal with the concept of eternity in an innovative way. This could be a first step of authentic and reciprocal interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation that sees in the University of Padua, as it has for eight hundred years, an inexhaustible source of innovation.


Moreover, on May 19th and 20th two Nobel Prize winners are giving lectures after the conference.

Thursday 19th: 18.30 Nobel lecture – Gerard ‘t Hooft, “A Confrontation with Infinity” 

Friday 20th: 18.00 Nobel lecture – Roger Penrose, “Physics of consciousness”