Scholarly Appreciations of Prof. Gomatam's Work

 

     
 

“I was very interested in the talk by Dr. Ravi Gomatam . . . because he showed, by some nice arguments, that the proper way to think of quantum mechanics is in terms of relationships . . . . This is a new way of thinking, which is perhaps how we can get out of the confusions.

It may be that this is how we should be doing science.

(Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate, 1999)

 
     

 

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“Your paper contains the germ of an important idea, namely that the ontology underlying the science needs or exploit quantum mechanics in a way that allows basic entities to be signs/symbols that are representations of meanings to be manipulated in the way that certain shapes are thought to be manipulated in the classical physics conception of reality.”

(Prof. Henry Stapp, PhD, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, USA)

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“Gomatam has proposed a new approach according to which quantum theory ought to use the terms ‘statistics’ or ‘probability’ to refer only to the occurrence of observable events and altogether renounce the notion of probabilities when talking about quantum ontological states.”

(Prof. B.V. Sreekantan, “Current Science” (2010), Journal of Indian Academy of Sciences), Former Director, TIFR

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“We agree with Gomatam (1999) who argues for a revision of our notion of macroscopic objects . . . Indeed, the key to progress . . . may lie in a willingness to abandon stalwart concepts of dynamism such as energy, momentum, force, and even causation at the fundamental level of modeling.”

(M.W. Stuckey (2000) Uniform Spaces in the Pregeometric Modeling of Quantum Non-Separability; A NATO funded paper)

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“However, many applied optimization problems have not been considered yet. It is necessary to use optimization methods of quantum and bio-molecular systems, because of the practical importance of the implementation of physical processes satisfying the required quality criteria. Most of the attention is focused on the following problems: . . . 2. Mathematical modeling of controlled physical and chemical processes in the brain; [to] consider the brain as a quantum macroscopic object (Gomatam, 1999).”

Panos M. Pardalos and Vitaliy A. Yatsekno (Eds.) Optimization and Control of Bilinear Systems: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications, p. 208, Springer, New York (2008)

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“The implication of feature (a) should not go unnoticed: an affordance of a surface layout exists whether or not the other object in the relation exists, meaning that an affordance of a surface layout had about-ness or intentionality in Brentano’s classical sense (Gomatam, 1999). On this recognition, one might say that intentionality is the mark of the relational.”

“The stone's color is actualized in the stone's relation to a perceiver. Importantly, a stone enters into other relations, not involving perceivers, in which a property of the stone, one might argue, is both expressed and actualized (Gomatam, 1999).”

(Wolfgang Prinz, Action Science: Foundations of an Emerging Discipline, MIT Press 2013)

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A theory of perception for all organisms encounters two quantum- like issues. […] Issue 2 is the observation problem so labeled by Gomatam and implicit in deliberations of Bohr, Einstein, Bell and others: to identify a quantum-compatible nonclassical conception of everyday objects, one consonant with the principle of superposition. The ecological notion of affordance is an organism-relative perspective on macroscopic objects.

(Michael Turvey, Quantum-Like Issues at Nature's Ecological Scale, Society for Mind-Matter Research, Vol 13, Issue 1, 2015)

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The Bhaktivedanta Institute cherishes the privilege to have started the world's first Master's degree and Ph.D. programs in the rapidly emerging field of consciousness studies. This program was launched in Mumbai in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS Pilani), one of India's top technical schools. While a growing number of major universities offer degree programs in related fields such as cognitive science, our program is, to the best of our knowledge, the first full-fledged program exclusively dedicated to consciousness studies.

The first group of students entered the M.S. program in January 1997. Over the next 20 years, over thirty students graduated the Master’s degree program. In 2017, the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India withdrew support for off-campus Master’s degree program, therefore this program has been suspended until further notice. We are still offering the PhD. program in collaboration with BITS Pilani. Our graduate program is a natural culmination of the active participation of the Institute in the development of the new scientific field of consciousness studies. In a modest sense, the Institute can be said to have played a pioneering role in the development of this field.

For example, the Institute hosted the First International Conference on the Study of Consciousness within Science in 1990 in San Francisco. The conference featured sixteen invited speakers including three Nobel Laureates. About 490 scholars from different universities in North America and overseas attended as registered participants. The conference was considered a trend-setting major academic event of the time. Immediately after the conference, the Bhaktivedanta Institute started a colloquium on Consciousness and Science in the San Francisco Bay Area. The colloquium ran for over a decade, with a list of speakers that is a veritable who's-who of leading researchers in consciousness studies.

A graduate program in any field can be only as good as the research carried at the host institute. The staff of the Bhaktivedanta Institute pursue vigorous state-of-the-art research programs in many areas of consciousness studies. The Institute has developed a unique perspective on what consciousness studies should entail, and the insights developed have already enriched the planning and conducting of the graduate program.

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Prof. Charles Townes (co-inventor of LASER and 1964 Nobel Laureate in physics) formally inaugurated the M.S./Ph.D. program in consciousness studies on January 14, 1997 in Bombay. He also participated in a panel discussion on the theme Science in the 21st Century, which was held to mark the occasion.