POPULAR TALK: Tales from a Black Hole (video)

The Big Hall of the Students’ Cultural Center was filled to capacity on Thursday, May 23, for yet another panel talk organized by the Institute of Physics as part of its initiative, Science Through Stories. Several hundred attendees gathered for a discussion on black holes, prompted by the recently published first image of the region surrounding a black hole.

An excellent atmosphere accompanied a lively discussion during which the speakers presented a broader scientific context in which the Event Horizon Telescope succeeded in taking a picture of a black hole in the galaxy M87. Discussed were the history of astronomy, science, media, Einstein’s theory, and various interesting and paradoxical features of black holes.

The speakers also highlighted the importance of human senses and curiosity in making scientific discoveries. After numerous responses from the members of the audience, the speakers concluded that, despite the challenges with which our society is faced, there is evidently a sizeable community of people who are very interested in scientific issues and for whom the panel talks organized by the Institute are intended.

The speakers at the panel talk, “Tales from a Black Hole,” were Dr. Marko Vojinović, a physicist at the Institute of Physics, Belgrade; science journalist Jelena Milutinović (Al Jazeera Balkans); Dr. Slobodan Perović, a philosopher at the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade; and Dr. Nemanja Martinović, an astronomer at the Astronomical Observatory, Belgrade. The moderator of the panel talk was Slobodan Bubnjević, co-editor of Science Through Stories.

All interested members of the audience had an opportunity of listening in the “parallel universe” of the panel talk to a special guest, Dr. Dragana Ilić, an astrophysicist at the Faculty of Science, Belgrade, who studies supermassive black holes and contributed to the research that led to the taking of the first image of a black hole. She was introduced to the audience by Marija Đurić, a co-editor of Science Through Stories.

Before the panel talk, there was a survey in electronic form, to which more than 10 percent of the attendees responded and which showed that one half of them attended the panel talks regularly, whereas the other half attended them only if they were intrigued by the topic. The survey also demonstrated that more than 60 percent of the attendees were interested in mathematical, physical and astronomical topics, over 50 percent of them in topics related to biology, history and the impact of new technologies on everyday life, whereas most interest was expressed in topics from the field of human health.

PHOTOS: Bojan Džodan, IPB