Viewfinder: Solving communication problems

Team Viewfinder’s summer’s top achievement is that they found the right application for visualizing scientific discussion. Their greatest challenge so far has been to create or find a good tool for online communication.

“Then we learned that there already exists just the kind of tool we need”, says team leader Paavo Pylkkänen.

DebateGraph is a tool meant for visualizing online discussion. The team has already been in contact with the designers of DebateGraph and there is excitement on both ends. The tool was recommended for the team by Kirsty Kitto, an Australian information sciences researcher at a quantum theory conference in Zurich in July.

“Kitto encouraged us by saying that actually the biggest problem in the world is that the grand challenges are left unsolved due to difficulties in communication”, Pylkkänen says. How an issue is presented may freeze the whole discussion already in square one.

“We noticed how important it is to streamline academic discussion for it to find its place in a constantly changing environment.”

The greatest thing about Helsinki Challenge for the team is the possibility to solve big questions to which they wouldn’t have grasped onto alone.

The first PitchNight in January was very exciting and so will the one in September be too.

“People’s excited reactions to our competition idea was the best part”, Pylkkänen reminisces.

“We are really invested in this. It’s tough but very rewarding.”

Remember their competition idea? Team Viewfinder is combining the best of natural sciences and philosophy to create a new scientific worldview. These days sciences are highly specialised: a researcher is deep in their own subject and the connection with other sciences is often frail. Their idea is to communicate their world view so that it inspires other scientists and researchers for new interaction and research.

Paavo Pylkkänen and Tuomas Tahko.

Come hear Viewfinder pitch their competition idea on stage at PitchNight on Thursday, September 3rd. The announcement of the winner of Helsinki Challenge (and 375000€) is announced on Friday, November 13th.

TEAM: Team leader PhD Paavo Pylkkänen (UH, PhD Tuomas Tahko (Academy of Finland Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, Theoretical philosophy, UH), PhD Tarja Kallio-Tamminen (Physics Foundations Institute).