Connecting Social Science, Quantum Mechanics

OWU’s Arneson Institute hosts Alexander Wendt
Alexander Wendt, Ph.D.

Alexander Wendt, Ph.D.

Ohio Wesleyan hosted Dr. Alexander Wendt, the Ralph D. Mershon Professor of International Security and political science professor at The Ohio State University, on January 15. His discussion focused on the idea that quantum mechanics and social science are not only intertwined, but that a better understanding of one will inevitably lead to improved comprehension of the other.

Though already the acclaimed author of Social Theory of International Politics, Wendt shared his enthusiasm for his most recent book which will be released later this year. This book will include his groundbreaking research connecting quantum physics with the social sciences.

In introducing Wendt, Dr. Sean Kay, OWU’s director of the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs, described Wendt as “not only one of the most influential social scientists of our generation, but also one of the most accomplished in the world.”

As he took the stage, Wendt prefaced his lecture with encouraging words directed at students and other members of the audience in the Benes Room of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, advising them to listen closely, “but don’t get discouraged if you do not understand some of this new information. Many physicists as well as I, in fact, struggle with some of the concepts!”

Most of the material he presented did indeed require a higher plane of thought and comprehension, though the genius required to connect the dots was easily appreciated. Wendt has examined and worked to support the view that the social sciences emerged from physics. He explained that several key anomalies work toward disproving the original classical/contemporary manner of thinking regarding the quantum mechanics of the social sciences.

“The lecture was very motivating for me as a liberal arts student,” said Joseph Kirincic ’16, a philosophy major. “Seeing the marriage of quantum mechanics and international politics, as well as research from such disciplines as philosophy, neuroscience, physics, and psychology reminded me of why I attend this University.”

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