KAIST GSI Brings Together Natural and Social Scientists to Discuss Inequality and Injustice for Its Seventh International Forum
What does science tell us about extreme disparities?
Daejeon, Republic of Korea, July 1, 2022—An international forum hosted by the Global Strategy Institute (GSI) at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will examine two of the most difficult issues to fight in human history, inequality and injustice. World-renowned experts will provide new insights on how to understand the major forces behind increasing inequalities and social injustice and explore solutions to these intractable problems that are still affecting our world to this day.
The 7th of its kind, KAIST GSI’s international forum will be held online on July 6th, 2022 from 9:00 until 10:30 am Korea Standard Time (KST) and livestreamed on KAIST’s YouTube Channel. The theme of the forum is “The Science of Inequality and Injustice.”
This timely event comes as we observe current global threats including how pandemics, the war in Ukraine, inflation, and climate change have exacerbated already widening inequalities across the globe. The cause and effects of inequalities and injustice in society have long been studied in the realm of social sciences and humanities, but in recent years, scientific research to tackle the subject from the perspectives of natural and engineering sciences has been gaining great momentum.
The forum brings together renowned scientists from physics, mathematics, computational science, and social sciences to take a fresh look at major questions regarding the causes of inequality and injustice. Keynote speakers will be Professors Adrian Bejan from Duke University, Stefanie Stantcheva from Harvard University, Bruce Boghosian from Tufts University, and Esteban Moro from MIT.
The forum will proceed with keynote speeches and follow-up discussions among the speakers with KAIST panelists, Wonjae Lee, professor of the Graduate School of Culture Technology and So-Young Kim, director of Korea Policy Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Prof. Bejan is a distinguished mechanical scientist who came up with a revolutionary idea to explain inequality in the context of physics. He argues that just as the laws of nature dictate how rivers, trees, and human beings behave, an unequal distribution of wealth in society is an inevitable result of nature’s work. In his talk entitled “Physics and the Science of Inequality and Injustice,” he will illustrate how physical laws generate inequality and, accordingly, solutions can also be found in the principles of physics.
In his presentation on “The Origin and Nature of Wealth Concentration and Oligarchy,” Prof. Boghosian will suggest that recent work by mathematicians and statistical physicists has shed new light on the origin and nature of wealth concentration and oligarchies, and their approaches have led to a new and heterodox view of these phenomena with implications not only in economics, but also in political science, public policy, and ethics.
Prof. Moro’s speech titled “Understanding Urban Social Resilience through Behavioral Mobility Data” will stress diversity and resilience as an important basis for a robust social fabric in cities where two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to live by 2050. He will note several major forces that erode the diversity and strength of social connections such as income disparity or racial segregation, and present his recent work demonstrating the fragility of the network of social connections in cities through an analysis of behavioral mobility data and its impact in inequality and experienced segregation.
Prof. Stantcheva will introduce recent research in social economics on how people understand and view redistribution policies in her talk titled “Social Economics: Understanding Policy Views.” Her comments are especially relevant in a time of quantitative easing and tightening, massive government aid programs in response to COVID-19, and questions on how incomes should be redistributed to mitigate growing inequalities that are driven by the latest hyper-technological revolution.
For details of the program, please visit KAIST GSI’s 7th International Forum on the “Science of Inequality and Injustice.”
About the Global Strategy Institute (GSI), KAIST
Established in February 2020 as a representative think tank of KAIST, the GSI provides advice on domestic and international issues through its expertise in science and technology. It is composed of four research centers: the Vision Strategy Center, the Science and Technology Strategy Center, the Korea Policy Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the Sustainable Development Center. Since its inception, the institute has been hosting international forums on important topics critical to Korea and beyond, such as COVID-19, education for a contactless society, metaverse technology, technological paradigm shifts, carbon zero societies, and quantum computing. With the participation of high-profile national and global leaders from academia, government, and industry, the forum has now become one of the most watched forums in South Korea.