Tecnologie e Società


2010: The Large, the Small and the Human Mind
René Stettler


Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics
2010: The Large, the Small and the Human Mind

Introduction: TOPIC 2010
Roger Penrose’s hotly disputed book The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (1997) contributed to a new scientific world-view of physics and a more complete understanding of conscious minds at the boundary between the physics of the small and the physics of the large. In a similiar vein, the Swiss Biennial 2010, The Large, the Small and the Human Mind, will trigger debate about the unequal status that we have attributed to the physical world “out there” and our many beliefs and mental conceptions “in us” about this world, and it explores the fingers of science, rationality, ontology, epistemology, reflexivity, ethics, ecology, and politics that point to the realities of our beliefs.

The New Gallery Lucerne organises this two-day conference which brings together a group of internationally renowned scientists, sociologists, philosophers, ecologists, writers, artists, and policy-makers. From the debate about the pursuit of a “Theory of Everyhing” (TOE) in physics, extreme objectivity, our relationship to the “Universe,” to “human,” “nature,” “human culture,” and the “human mind,” The Large, the Small and the Human Mind will touch on the world’s first climate war, the destructive side of globalization, and the contradictions of our striving for unlimited economic growth and consumption. “When the sage points at the Moon,” says the Chinese proverb, “the fool looks at his fingertip.” The Large, the Small and the Human Mind offers a critical look at the fingertip, and from it to the Moon. From the question of how to free Pandora’s Hope, to the meaning of Leonardo’s science for our time, and the significance of the Space Age for humanity, the Swiss Biennial will reflect on these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective with the aim to create a broader and finer sense of possibility.

Keynote Speakers, Presenter, Chairpersons

Michel Bitbol (physicist and philosopher of mind, Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique [CNRS], Paris), Co-Author and Editor with Pierre Kerszberg and Jean Petitot of “Constituting Objectivity: Transcendental Perspectives on Modern Physics” (2009) /  Author of  “Physique et Philosophie de l’Esprit” (2000)

Fritjof Capra (physicist and systems theorist, Berkeley), Author of “The Tao of Physics – Das Tao der Physik” (1975), “The Turning Point – Wendezeit” (1982), “The Science of Leonardo” (2007)

John Horgan (author, Director of the Center for Science Writings [CSW], Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, USA), Author of “Rational Mysticism” (2003), “The End of Science – An den Grenzen des Wissens” (1996)

Kevin W. Kelley (artist, author, and entrepreneur, San Rafael / USA), Co-Author with Payson R. Stevens of “Embracing Earth. New Views of our Changing Planet” (1992), Author of “The Home Planet – Der Heimplanet” (1988)

Bruno Latour (sociologist, Scientific Director and Professor at Sciences Po, Paris), Co-Author with Peter Weibel of “Iconoclash: Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Religion and Art” (2002), Author of “We Have Never Been Modern – Wir sind nie modern gewesen” (1993), “Pandora’s Hope – Die Hoffnung der Pandora” (1999)

Pier Luigi Luisi (Professor Emeritus ETH Zurich, Professor at the Dipartimento diBiologia, Università degli Studi di Roma), Author of “The Emergence of Life: From Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology” (2006)

Robert Poole (historian, University of Cumbria, Lancaster / UK), Author of “Earthrise – How Man First Saw the Earth” (2008)

Harald Welzer (social psychologist, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Memory Research, Essen), Author of “Klimakriege” (2008)

Margaret Wertheim (Science writer, Curator, Cultural Historian of Physics, Director of the Institute for Figuring, Los Angeles), Author of “Pythagoras’ Trousers – God, Physics, and the Gender Wars / Die Hosen des Phythagoras – Gott, Physik und die Frauen” (1997), “The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace – Die Himmelstür zum Cyberspace” (1997), “Lithium Legs and Apocalyptic Photons: A Trailer Park Owner's Theory of Everything” (2010)


David McConville (artist, Director of Noospheric Research, The Elumenati, Asheville / USA)


Christina Ljungberg (University of Zurich)
Josef Mitterer (University of Klagenfurt)
Isabelle Stengers (Free University of Brussels)

Leader of the Panel Discussions

Peter Weibel (Chairman and CEO, Center for Art and Media [ZKM], Karlsruhe)

The Large, the Small and the Human Mind

Swiss Museum of Transport, Coronado Hall
Bus: 10 Minutes, No. 6, 8, 24, Station: “Verkehrshaus”
Train: 8 Minutes, S3 and “Voralpenexpress,” Station “Luzern Verkehrshaus”

Saturday, January 16, 2010, 12 – 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 17, 2010, 12 – 7 p.m.

René Stettler

New Gallery Lucerne, P.O. Box 3501, CH-6002 Lucerne / Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0) 41 370 38 18
Mobile: +41 (0) 78 853 56 76

Simultaneous Interpretation
Conference Consulting OEG, Vienna
English-German and German-English

Tape and Video Recording
Private Taperecording and Videotaping are not allowed. All rights reserved to the New Gallery Lucerne.

Documentation and Technical Support
arteaudio, Bruno Lori, Ebikon

Entrance Fees
Lectures and Panel Discussion January 16, 2010
(Capra / Wertheim / Latour/Stengers / Horgan / Bitbol) CHF 55.00
Stud. / AHV (ID) CHF 45.00

Lectures and Panel Discussion January 17, 2010
(Kelley / Welzer / McConville (Planetarium) / Poole / Luisi) CHF 55.00
Stud. / AHV (ID) CHF 45.00
Dauerkarte 16. und 17. Januar 2010 CHF 90.00
Ticket for January 16 and 17, 2010 CHF 90.00
Stud. / AHV (ID) CHF 65.00
Ticket Reservation by Phone
January 4 – 15, 2010
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2 – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday 6 – 9 p.m.
Tel.  +41 (0) 41 362 20 77. Please collect your reservation in the Swiss Museum of Transport’s Conference Center at 11.00 a.m. No seat reservations.

You can register by sending an e-mail to renestettler at Please, mention your first and last name, exact address, city, country, telephone number, e-mail address and the number and category of the desired tickets. Your registration will be confirmed by e-mail within 2 days.

Dr. Felix Bauer, Meggen
Rosie Bitterli Mucha, Head of the Department of Culture and Sport, City of Lucerne
Hanspeter Fischer, Architect HTL, Ennetbürgen
Christina and Walter Graf, Bureau für Bauoeconomie, Lucerne
Bodil Dahl Jørgensen, Kastanienbaum
Ursula and Herbert Kneubühl-Muheim, Claro
Remo Reginold, President of the Freie Vereinigung Gleichgesinnter Lucerne (FVGL), Emmenbrücke
Dr. Anton Schwingruber, Director of Education and Culture, Canton of Lucerne
Peter Schulz, Publisher, Lucerne
Carla Schwöbel-Braun, Lucerne
Dr. Uli Sigg, Entrepreneur, Mauensee
Urs W. Studer, Mayor of the City of Lucerne
Food and Beverages
Entrance to Coronado Hall

Coronado Hall

Hotels and Accomodation
Hotel zum Rebstock (Conference Hotel)
St. Leodegarstr. 3, CH-6006 Lucerne, Tel.: +41 (0) 41 417 18 19
Special Offer for Participants of the Biennial:
Single Room CHF 150.00 with Breakfast Buffet
Double Room CHF 240.00 with Breakfast Buffet
Reservation Code «Swiss Biennial»

Lucerne Tourism, Bahnhofstrasse 3, CH-6002 Lucerne Tel.: +41 (0) 41 227 17 17



P.O. Box 3501
Tel.: + 41 (0) 41 370 38 18

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