Associate Professor Colin Klein will receive a $450 000 ANU Futures Scheme grant over the next five years. The Scheme, funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor, allows world-leading early- and mid-career researchers to pursue cutting-edge research in their field. This is the third such grant won by ANU philosophers, following on from A/Prof Katie Steele and Dr. Rachael Brown's successful bids in 2017.
His project will improve our understanding of how the mind works, by strengthening the link between computationalist theories of mind and contemporary neuroscience. As Dr Klein puts it: “It's been very common for both philosophers and cognitive scientists to compare the workings of the mind to the workings of a computer. Yet the analogies used are often quite simple, and don't take into account the richness and complication of actual computers. One of the main things I'll be looking at is how to make those connections more complicated and realistic, in part by looking to simpler model organisms like insects.”
The grant will allow the Dr Klein to hire postdoctoral researchers and to host international conferences, bringing together leading lights in the fields of philosophy of mind and cognitive science to the ANU over the next five years. As Colin says, the future is looking bright: “I’m very excited. I think it’s an excellent initiative by the ANU to promote cutting-edge research.”