Yesterday Carlo Rovelli posted "A Dialog on Quantum Gravity" on arxiv http://arxiv.org/hep-th/0310077 It is a dialog between Dr. Simp, who likes string theory, and a graduate student named Sal. Rovelli is a world-class expert on quantum gravity, still a surprisingly young guy, check out his website at University of Marseille http://www.cpt.univ-mrs.fr/~rovelli/rovelli.html His book, "Quantum Gravity" is due to be published by the Cambridge University Press. The August 2003 draft of the book is available online at Rovelli's website The dialog is kind of funny. String theory comes off looking a bit silly.

Rovelli at the "Loops versus Strings" conference this month The first combined symposium on quantum gravity---speakers balanced between loop quantum gravity and string theory---organized jointly by a LQG leader (Abhay Ashtekar) and a string theorest (H. Nicolai) will take place this month at the Albert Einstein Institute near Berlin As it happens Rovelli will give the first talk on Friday 31 October---on Spin Foams---which will be followed by J. Plefka speaking on "Supermembranes, M(atrix) theory, and all that" John Baez gave a schedule of the invited talks a couple of days ago. It is kind of interesting to see who they've got and what they're talking about. Maybe I will post it

Strings meets Loops symposium Oct 29-31 I should get the name right, it isnt "Loops vs Strings". I misspoke. The symposium at the Albert Einstein Instutute is called "Strings meets Loops". I'll fetch the program of talks from Baez Usenet/SPR, and post it here in case anyone is interested in who is talking and what about. ------------------------------------ Announcement of AEI Symposium 29 - 31 October, 2003 "STRINGS MEET LOOPS" Organizers: A. Ashtekar (PSU) and H. Nicolai (AEI) The primary purpose of this meeting is to bring together researchers working on string theory on the one hand, and on canonical and loop quantum gravity on the other, and to enhance exchange of ideas between the two communities. The program will consist of talks that will not be too technical, and should be primarily addressed to the other community. Their main purpose is to serve as a concrete platform for subsequent discussions. Each one hour talk will be followed by half an hour of discussion. The discussion need not be restricted to the material presented by the speaker, but should cover the general area of the talk. We expect a lively and frank exchange of ideas and anticipate many probing questions from the audience and participants who may have a different perspective on the subject than speakers. For further information concerning participation in this symposium, contact M. Bojowald at mabo@aei.removethis.mpg.andthis.de PROGRAM Wednesday 29 October: 9:30 H. Nicolai: Introductory remarks 10:30 A. Ashtekar: Quantum geometry and its applications: an overview 11:30 Discussion (Chair: H. Nicolai) 12:30 Lunch 14:00 K. Peeters: Supergravity description of string diagrammatics 15:00 Discussion 15:30 Coffee 16:00 M. Henneaux: Cosmological billiards and hidden symmetries of gravitational theories 17:00 Discussion (Chair: D. Giulini) Thursday 30 October 9:00 B. de Wit: Supergravity, duality and BPS states 10:00 Discussion 11:00 J. Lewandowski: The Hamiltonian constraint 12:00 Discussion (Chair: D. Maison) 12:30 Lunch 14:00 M. Bojowald: Loop quantum cosmology 15:00 Discussion 15:30 Coffee break 16:00 M. Douglas (by video link): Statistics of string vacua 17:00 Discussion (Chair: S. Theisen) Friday 31 October: 9:30 C. Rovelli: Spin foams 10:30 Discussion 11:00 J. Plefka: Supermembranes, M(atrix) theory and all that 11:30 Discussion (Chair: L. Freidel) 12:30 Lunch 14:00 M. Niedermaier: Integrable quantum gravity in two dimensions 15:00 Discussion 15:30 Coffee break 16:00 A. Ashtekar: Closing remarks 16:30 Conference ends (Chair: D. Luest) -----------------------------------------