The Authority of Science

University of Sydney, Australia

8-10 April 2011

Abstracts due: 15th October 2010

4th Sydney-Tilburg conference on the philosophy of science

Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, University of Sydney, Australia

From climate change to the classification of illegal drugs the extent to which scientific opinion should prevail over other voices in determining public policy is hotly contested. What is it about the nature of science that confers epistemic authority on scientific opinion, and what are the scope and limits of that authority?

The aim of this conference is to direct the attention of philosophers of science and epistemologists back to this question, and to remind ourselves that the founders of philosophy of science saw this as a fundamental question for scientific epistemology. We believe that recent developments in philosophy of science offer new resources to address the question in ways that have direct relevance to the practice of contemporary science and its application in public policy.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Sir Peter Gluckman FRS (Head, Centre for Human Evolution, Adaptation and Disease, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland and New Zealand Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor)
  • Christian List (Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, London School of Economics)
  • Theodore L. Brown (Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Suitable subjects for submitted papers would include:

  • History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS) perspectives
  • Epistemology of complex systems modelling
  • Epistemology of highly mediated observation
  • Philosophical foundations of statistics and decision theory
  • Epistemology of translational research
  • Integrating philosophy of science into scientific practice
  • Philosophy of science in science education