In November of 2019, UNESCO, in association with the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH), declared January 14th to be World Logic Day. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about the importance of logic both within scientific communities and among the general public.
Notably, the date wasn’t selected at random. Rather, it was a quite, well, logical choice, as January 14th was the birthday day of Alfred Tarski (January 14, 1901) and the day of death of Kurt Godel (January 14, 1978). Tarski and Godel were both key logicians of the 20th century.
Why the Day is Needed
The ability to think and reason is one of the defining features of humankind. Yet, while it’s a central part of what makes us human, allows for development of knowledge, and drives technological development, most people don’t give the concept of logic much thought.
UNESCO’s director, Audrey Azoulay, explains, “logic is ever-present: when you use AI software, when you turn on your computer, when you develop an argument.” And yet, by and large, “we remain quite unaware of its ubiquity.” To help address this issue, World Logic Day was created with the goal of “draw[ing] attention to the importance of logic in the development of knowledge.”
Specifically, the day aims to create a global celebration of logic that:
- Fosters international cooperation
- Encourages the development of logic in both research and teaching
- Supports organizations and associations that promote logic
- Enhances the public’s understanding of logic and logic’s implications for science, technology, and innovation
Perhaps, most notable, however, is the broader goal of the day, which is to “contribute to the promotion of a culture of peace, dialogue and mutual understanding, based on the advancement of education and science.” This larger goal is worth noting because it highlights the real implications of logic and reasoning and the impacts that it can have on all facets of life.
World Logic Day Celebrations
The hope is that there will be celebrations around the world on January 14, championing and inspiring logic. In fact, UNESCO encourages anyone that’s interested in logic to organize events for the day. These events can be academic or non-academic, and they can be focused on the general public or individuals with specialized skills.
It’s intentionally a broad invitation that opens the day up to anyone and everyone. And, anyone can submit their event to UNESCO and have it added to the official website and list of global celebrations. Guidelines for how to do that are on UNESCO’s World Logic Day page and can be found here.
There are a number of events already added to the official schedule, including a Belgium academic celebration titled, “Understanding with(in) Mathematics,” a “Logic and Religion” event organized by the Logic Group of the Philosophical Association of the Philippines, and, in Louisiana, Northwestern State’s “Symposium on Logic and Artificial Intelligence.”
We encourage you and your team to review the guidelines, create a celebration, and join the official list of events. With the option to host either a virtual or in-person event, it can be a great way to share ideas and collaborate with individuals from a myriad of organizations, backgrounds, and locations.
How We’re Celebrating
We’re excited to report that a couple of our team members have already been working hard to promote logic and critical thinking. Senior Project Controls Specialist Scott Major and Project Manager Sydney Hogston were awarded the CNS General Groves Award for their work successfully completing the site outage program and scheduling process improvement goals at Y-12.
The award is given “to those who exemplify the spirit of Y-12’s historic Manhattan Project’s pioneers and provide an innovative spirit by welcoming monumental engineering tasks, planning, managing, showing good work ethic, and delivering excellence.”
We’re privileged to work alongside people that champion logic and work to use it to drive innovation and development. We encourage you to look for such people in your teams and to find ways to celebrate them on January 14th!