Sunday, March 20, 2022

Carol Blasio Day: Diversity in Logic




Celebrating life and publicizing the legacy of women who, no longer transiting among us, remain vivid as inspirations in our memories and actions is a way of resisting the discouragements of these times – which we can barely describe without disturbing our hopes.


On the 20th of March, by the ruler of the Gregorian calendar, Carolina Blasio a young and talented feminist Brazilian philosopher and logician – would be commencing another life cycle. Astronomically, the date is also when the equinoxes occur, the days in which day and night, in symmetry, last practically the same time. In the South of the globe, the date marks the arrival of autumn light, in the North one celebrates the colors of spring.


To make Carolina Blasio’s trajectory known and to preserve her legacy for philosophy, for logic – but above all for people who dedicate their lives to these fields of knowledge and knew her – we chose March 20th as a symbol of her life, vivacity, and of the rarity of the philosopher, logician, teacher, friend, tutor, and mother – the woman who Carolina was. Although the event was imagined in 2020, only now have we been able to announce it and to invite friends, colleagues, and students whose memories attest to Carolina's importance as an example of integrity, brilliance, and generosity inside and outside the academic environment – to send short texts and videos associated with Carolina's intellectual interests and personality traits. This is the Carol Blasio Day for Diversity in Logic!


To the extent of our strengths and agendas, for this first edition, we also encourage among friends the holding of small events associated with the celebration. With these humble gestures, we are just beginning the propagation, beyond the circles frequented by Carol, of her multiple efforts in favor of more equity, diversity, and inclusion in Academia. Those efforts will not be forgotten, as they are already being transmuted into energy of action for more diversity in teaching, studying, and popularization practices of Logic in our country.


All tributes – reports, letters, notes, and other forms of written record sent to us (mainly in Portuguese) are available on our LBBlog. 


The video tributes are available on the  Brazilian Logic Society (SBL) YouTube channel.


In celebration of those who are gone (el Día de los Muertos), the Lógica MX collective posted a very informative thread on Carol's legacy (in English) on their Twitter account.


Finally, we list below some events and publications associated with the celebration of Carolina Blasio’s life and work.


Special Session of the UFBA Logic Seminar

Title: Dialectics and the Kolmogorov-Veloso Problems

Speaker: Valeria de Paiva (Topos Institute)

Day/time: Monday, March 21, 7:00 pm (Brasilia time)

Link: contact us logicasbrasileiras at gmail.com. (The talk will be held in Portuguese)


Carol’s paper: Revisiting the Dunn-Belnap logic, translated into English by Evelyn Erickson and revised by João Marcos.


A special volume of Synthese was dedicated to the memory of Carolina Blasio, Varieties of Entailment. We recall below the two first paragraphs of the introduction to this volume, written by Wansing and Ruffino (who was also Carol’s Ph.D.)


This special issue of Synthese is dedicated to the memory of Carolina Blasio da Silva, a young and talented Brazilian logician, who sadly left this world too early, only one day after successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis on non-classical forms of entailment at the University of Campinas, Brazil, on August 25, 2017. Carolina originally studied Psychology and Philosophy at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, and did her MSc on Heidegger and the question of time. She did part of her undergraduate studies in Passau, and spent time as a visiting researcher, during her graduation period, at Tel-Aviv University, King’s College London, Vienna University of Technology, the University of Lisbon, and Ruhr University Bochum. She was the administrator of the Brazilian discussion group on Logic, an active member of the Brazilian LaTeX community, and a feminist campaigner.


Before her untimely death, Carolina was working intensively on a many-dimensional notion of logical consequence and generalized logical values related to that conception. She did so not just in her dissertation, but also in several papers (some of them already published and some about to be submitted). For those who had the fortune to know her, it was at the same time lovely and inspiring to see Carolina being both an active young researcher and a caring mother in the many international conferences on logic and philosophy to which she brought her baby daughter. Carolina’s enthusiasm and intellectual love for her work were contagious, as was her sympathy, personal charisma, and generosity, and we are grateful for her legacy both as a philosopher and as a human being. She is survived by her logician husband, João Marcos, and their daughter, Maia.


Hopefully, Carol’s presence will thrive in our increasingly diverse academic practices in logic and philosophy. Happy new equinox!



(Guest post by Gisele Secco)




Lógicas Brasileiras/Brazilian Women Logicians

Logic and Philosophy are, still, two male-dominated fields. Nothing new under the sun. 


What is relatively new is the fact that over the last years, all over the world, women and the so-called minorities have been gathering, raising their voices at events, and publishing their complaints about gender disparity (and other ways in which diversity is lacking) in academic environments. We have been paying more and more attention to the nuanced ways through which misogyny, racism, and other discriminatory tendencies affect women in many contexts: research, transmission, and communication of logical knowledge. We have been registering data, elaborating claims and suggestions for transforming the logical landscape in all its disciplinary interfaces (with Computing, Philosophy, Mathematics, etc..), making its practice more attractive and welcoming for people who "normally" do not adapt to the often-harmful atmospheres in which logic is practiced. Everyone acquainted with the Women in Logic project can understand that we are just getting started.


In Brazil, where Logic is a subfield of Philosophy (at least from the point of view of the institutional taxonomy through which research is funded by public institutions), things do not differ much from what one could call “the average situation” with respect to disparities of gender, ethnicity, class, etc.. in logic as a field in rest of the world. In 2019, in a roundtable during 19th the Brazilian Logic Meeting, the “women problem” was officially assumed by the Brazilian Logic Society – nowadays presided by a woman. In tune with initiatives such as the WiL project (but also the Inclusive Logic Day, the Women in Machine Learning, the German-Speaking Women Logicians, among others), and taking into consideration the specifics of our context, in 2020 we launched the website Lógicas Brasileiras (Brazilian Women Logicians). 


Our central aim is to give visibility to the work of all Brazilian women involved with logic as researchers, professors, teachers and/or disseminators to broader audiences. We believe that this kind of initiative is crucial for encouraging more young people, especially women, to invest in their potential. It is essential to show them that they do not need to feel alone, that there is a community for all of us. 


Up to now, we have been interviewing women that do/teach/disseminate logic, gathering materials for historical research (such as this one) and participating in one or another event (like this).


Today March 20th we are celebrating Carol Blasio Day for Diversity in Logic,

about which you can read more in the Logicas Brasileiras post here.

Our communication is held mainly in Portuguese, but you can find some of our things in English here and here.


(Guest post by Gisele Secco)

Sunday, January 16, 2022

4th Congress, Bucharest 1971

 Reposted from 4th International Congress, Bucharest 1971 



I have never been to Romania. I was even unsure whether the country was called Romania, Roumania or Rumania. (I have now learned that since 1975 it is Romania).

I had only known about Dracula and Transylvania and  Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu's execution, as dreadful grainy pictures in old newspapers. So I was in a bit of a bind to tell a story about this congress, as I have been writing about others.

Of course the hard information about the Congress is  available. Most of the program committee consists  of very well known logicians: P. Suppes (Chairman), A. Mostowski, A.A. Markov, M. Rabin, G. Kreisel, W. Stegmüller, K. J. J. Hintikka, A. Grünbaum, M. O. Beckner, A. N. Leontiev, P. Lazarsfeld, S. Marcus,  and M. Hesse as Section Chairmen. This way I 'discovered' the work of Mary Hasse and you should too.

I also read about the Romanian Organizing Committee: A. Joja, G. Moisil, C. Popovici (General Secretary) and wondered about how close this congress was of the taking of power by Ceaușescu. I read most about Moisil, because I like algebraic logic. But this is not a sensible blog post material here. 

So I ended up looking up the President of the Executive Committee of the Congress, Stephan Körner, The University of Bristol BS8 IRJ, England. I learned that he was the father of Tom Korner, who was one of my professors in  the Cambridge Part III course. Tom was an extremely nice professor, not only to me, but to generations of Part III students. His website gives a glimpse of his kind of self-deprecating humour, which I always enjoyed, once I was able to understand it.

Tom has some advice for people taking Part III in his website. This brought back loads of memories of my year doing Part III in Cambridge: it definitely was the hardest course I've done in my life, by a very long stretch. So it's kind of comforting that much more accomplished people than me also say so. 

Reading his advice I was reminded of a story from when I first started in Cambridge. I could read English well and I could take exams fairly well (I was accepted in most of the Mathematics departments I applied to do my Phd), but I had been thinking of going to France, where I knew a professor doing categorical model theory. Hence my spoken English was terrible and my understanding of spoken English was even worse. For a few weeks in the beginning of Part III lectures, the abbreviation (TFAE = the following are equivalent) was written in the huge blackboards
of the Mill Lane Lecture rooms over and over. Little me assumed that the letters where the initials of some very famous mathematicians, so I kept thinking to myself, these guys, who are they? They're everywhere, even more than Gauss? How come I never heard of them? Eventually the penny dropped, but I think this shows how hard that first year was.

 

1st International Congress, Stanford 1960

 


Benedikt Loewe has done a great job of finding all the official information about the DLMPS congresses. And if you're only interested in the hard, concrete facts you can make your way to  the page of Past Congresses and be done. My intention here  is to discuss the fluffy side of some of the meetings, just for fun.

The first meeting at all was the

1st International Congress of the Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Stanford University 1960

Now the Dept of Philosophy of Stanford has a nice history where we can read about the Suppes era, when the first congress happened. They say: 

Suppes’ indelible presence in the Department spanned sixty-four years (42 years on the full-time faculty, after which he remained deeply engaged as Emeritus Professor until his recent death in 2014). His foundational work across numerous fields in philosophy and in the sciences earned him many honors, including membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Medal of Science, and the Lakatos Award. 

First I thought my fluffy story about this conference would be the "mystery" in the preface where the editors say: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Professor Nagel was forced to resign as Chairman of the Organizing Committee just prior to the opening of the Congress, and Professor Tarski served in that capacity during its sessions.

This is good, we can conjure up a whole murder mystery on that "forced to resign", right?

But then looking at some of the papers (the book with only invited papers has 672 pages!) I discovered something much fluffier. For me at least. Here it is:

This is J. W. Addison talking about the "expanding babel of modern mathematics and logic". And bringing Hilbert into the picture to explain that Mathematics is an indivisible whole, a connected organism that as farther as it's developed, the more we can see the harmony between its parts. 

This is pink-unicorn kind of fluffy, as far as I'm concerned!





Congresses of the Division of Logic, methodology and philosophy of science and technology

 


The series of Congress of Logic Methodology and Philosophy of Science (since 2019 CLMPST; Congresses for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology) are the quadriennial main event of

The next one will be held in July 2023 in Buenos Aires: clmpst2023.dc.uba.ar.

But there were 16 so far. So a small project of the Women in Logic network was created to read about these congresses and describe a little how logic and logicians have been interacting since the first one, in Stanford in 1960. 

I've asked for help writing small blog posts about the congresses, but  this was  a bit late and so not all the blog posts have been written, yet. But I will copy and reproduce here the ones that have been done.

Like everything else this blog is a work in progress!

World Logic Day 2022

 



Since 2019 the World Logic Day is celebrated on January 14th. So it's not an old tradition, but it's one that speaks to many logicians, who would like the work they do to be better known and appreciated. So the number of seminars, small conferences and round tables have been mushrooming, which is great!

But if one has so many meetings to go to and they are not recorded, they only give you a nasty feeling of "missing out": even in the pandemic, even when the meetings are free and in principle accessible you are not able to watch them all, to take it all in--of course one needs to think how accessible things are at 5 am-- and this is bad. Or feels bad. So I thought I would like to do something different for World Logic Day 2022.

It occurred to me that instead of a meeting we should celebrate by having the launching of the Women in Logic website (https://sites.google.com/view/womeninlogic/home) this World Logic Day. We did a soft launch a week before (i.e Friday 8th) and tried to iron some of the issues, but some remained. Bugs in life and software are always there.

I'm really impressed with the website which is mostly the work of Juliet Szatko and Sandra Alves. It's beautiful, it contains lots of information about the work we've been doing in the WiL workshops, the facebook group, the twitter account, the slack channel, etc. It also points out the many projects that we are trying to do, but haven't got finished, yet. One of these small projects is described in the next blog posts, check it out!

 Many thanks for this exquisite gift, Juliet and Sandra!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Women in Logic 2021

 


(This is copied from Logic ForAll, where it appeared in June 2021)

We just had another great edition of Women in Logic! Congrats to the organizers Sandra Alves, Sandra Kiefer and Ana Sokolova for a fun, challenging and  diverse meeting! Thanks also to our Invited Speakers Professors Simona Ronchi Della Rocca (Università di Torino) and Rineke Verbrugge (University of Groningen) for very inspiring talks!

This time we didn't have any incidents like last year (my write-up of the incident last year is in The curious incident of the dropped streaming, if you want to see it), but on the other hand we didn't have the streaming either and this is not so good. 

We are a small workshop, so we follow what the conference we're associating with says; and I think it's fair to say that the main issue this year has been the registration fee, which was plainly terrible. This came as a surprise to me (and, I believe, to everyone else too!). Since last year there was no registration fee for the workshop, I thought this year was going  be the same. After all,  our workshop is about logic work done by women, but it is not exactly a huge source of brownie points (or commercial value) to anyone. We help people get used to presenting their work, in other more 'hostile' environments, and I have been extremely impressed with the quality of the work the young ones do. They get some amount of mentoring on their papers and on dealing with questions, misunderstandings, etc. But for the audience, which is there to cheer them on and to learn a few things about their work, to pay 30 euros for a single day seems excessively expensive! 

After all, the silver lining of the pandemic and of the lockdowns had been the possibility,  for many, to interact with their academic heroes, to watch seminars that happened in all parts of the world, "to be" in Australia one day and the next in Colombia, while still hearing about your favorite subject. That now people insist on gatekeeping these possibilities, by making the conferences unaffordable, seems perverse.

I understand that even online conferences have costs that need to be paid, but I worry that calculations and sponsorships are following outdated models. And I believe the push to make it more accessible needs to be done by everyone in the community, not just a few. Otherwise, the prestigious conferences will carry on being unaffordable, reproducing the sins of the conventional publication model.