Outlining the development of physics concerned with forces and machines as captured in the clockwork universe of Newton, Gallileo and Kepler to the emergence of a new paradigm - the statistical universe of Boltzmann and Gibbs with its emphasis on states and their evolution. Prof Richmond will discuss how the move from this the treatment of people in the manner of atoms as proposed by Mandelbrot seems entirely logical. Some applications will be developed by way of illustration. In passing we shall begin to understand how wealth in societies is as it is and why stock markets can crash. To physicists, unlike, it would seem, some of our bankers, these possibilities were evident well before the present financial debacle.
Professor Chris Morash became the inaugural Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin on January 1, 2014. Born in Nova Scotia, his first degree is from Dalhousie University, after which he moved to Ireland to join the first cohort of students in the M.Phil. in Anglo-Irish Literature (as it was called at the time) in Trinity in 1985; his Ph.D on Irish Famine Literature is also from Trinity, carried out under the supervision of Professor Terence Brown. Prior to his appointment to Trinity, Chris Morash worked in Maynooth University, where he had been Professor of English since 2007, and founded the Centre for Media Studies in 2003. He was the first chair of the Compliance Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (2009-2014), and has been an active member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2007.