Ronan Sandford (Year: 2007)

B.Sc, in Computer Science , Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Lannion, France;
M.Sc, Cognitive Science (1st year), Institut de Cognitique, Bordeaux, France;

Research Interests:

Nature, Animal and Plant Kingdom, Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence, Science, Consciousness, Life, Psychology and Sociology.

Personal statement:
Since my childhood I never stopped to question the world and while growing I discovered many more questions. It is for me the most interesting challenge of life: understanding the reasons, if there is, about this world and the life we are living. I got interested in science very early as it seemed to be a good analysis of reality, but I then realized that something was missing in the explanation: consciousness itself. In fact all the basic questions that we all ask at least one time in our life are not answered by science: why am I here? What is the purpose of all these thing?.

Studying consciousness itself would probably give us some insight about these questions. My background in computer science helped me to see the problem that science is confronted in face of consciousness: If science is able to explain our behavior, then a computer would probably be able to imitate this behavior, will these machines be conscious?

I applied to the master program offered by Bhaktivedanta Institute in order to continue my research on the mind that I started in Bordeaux. I have always been interested in India and its vast philosophical background. What I found here, during this first semester is a serious institute that while lacking the materials found in bigger institute is ready to investigate the biggest problem that science is facing. The courses are well diversified and helped me to understand more profoundly the physical theories as well as some philosophical aspect important in order to grasp in which way consciousness is a fundamental problem.

My plan for the next three semesters is to investigate the basic questions concerning consciousness and try to clarify the problem. I want to look for an ontology that respect the discoveries made by science as well as giving consciousness the role it deserves.