Scientists have the reputation of being locked up in an ivory tower: from the outside it seems they are often more concerned with seemingly useless theoretical problems, rather than useful practical ones. In this article series, I would like to explain why scientists spend so much time on their apparent frivolous theories, and hopefully convince you that they do so for good reason.
In Slavic villages, when a young girl wanted to know what her future husband would look like, she would go to a dark, dark barn in the middle of the night, put two mirrors facing each other and light two candles. Next, she would stare at the endless “tunnel” formed by the reflections until she could see a face. This divination method is based on recursion.
Dr. Ella Lattenkamp was a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich. She defended her thesis entitled ‘Vocal Learning in the Pale Spear-Nosed Bat, Phyllostomus discolor’ on April 23 2020.