Since 2001 the University of Vienna and the Institute Vienna Circle have been holding an annual two-week summer program dedicated to major current issues in the natural and social sciences, their history and philosophy. The title of the program reflects the heritage of the Vienna Circle which promoted interdisciplinary and philosophical investigations based on solid disciplinary knowledge.
As an international interdisciplinary program, VISU-SWC brings graduate students in close contact with world-renowned scholars. It operates under the academic supervision of an International Program Committee of distinguished philosophers, historians, and scientists. The program is directed primarily to graduate students and junior researchers in fields related to the annual topic, but the organizers also encourage applications from gifted undergraduates and from people in all stages of their career who wish to broaden their horizon through crossdisciplinary studies of methodological and foundational issues in science.
The summer course consists of morning sessions, chaired by distinguished lecturers which focus on readings assigned to students in advance. Afternoon sessions are made up of tutorials by assistant professors for junior students and of smaller groups which offer senior students the opportunity to discuss their own research papers with one of the main lecturers.
The Nature of Scientific Evidence
Vienna,July 4 - 15, 2011
organized by the University of Vienna and the Institute Vienna Circle.
A two-week high-level summer course on questions related to fundamental philosophical problems of scientific evidence, spanning a wide range of topics in cognitive psychology, statistics, and sociology, and addressing normative, historical and topical issues from an international perspective.
Hasok Chang (University of Cambridge)
Tal Golan (University of California, San Diego)
David Lagnado (University College London)
Philip Dawid (University of Cambridge)
International Program Committee
John Beatty (Vancouver), Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara (Florence), Maria Carla Galavotti (Bologna), Malachi Hacohen (Durham/Raleigh), Rainer Hegselmann (Bayreuth), Michael Heidelberger (Tübingen), † Elisabeth Leinfellner (Vienna), Paolo Mancosu (Berkeley), Paolo Parrini (Florence), Friedrich Stadler (Vienna), Michael Stöltzner (North Carolina), Roger Stuewer (Minneapolis), Thomas Uebel (Manchester), Jan Wolenski (Cracow).
Hasok Chang Hasok Chang is Hans Rausing Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University. From 1995 to 2010 he taught at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Most of his research falls into two broad categories: general philosophy of science, and the history and philosophy of the physical sciences from the 18th century onward. He is the author of "Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress" (Oxford University Press, 2004), which was a co-winner of the 2006 Lakatos Award, and "Is Water H2O? Evidence, Realism and Pluralism" (Springer, forthcoming), as well as a number of articles on topics ranging from the philosophy of quantum mechanics to the history of logical positivism. He is also co-editor (with Catherine Jackson) of "An Element of Controversy: The Life of Chlorine in Science, Medicine, Technology and War" (British Society for the History of Science, 2007). He is a co-founder of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice, a founding member of the international Committee for Integrated History and Philosophy of Science, and an Associate Editor of the British Journal for the History of Science. http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/people/staff.html
Tal Golan Tal Golan is an associate professor of history of science and science studies at UC San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. Golan's research has focused on the history of the relations between science and law. Lately he has worked also on the relations between Zionism and science, and on the history of statistical evidence. He is the author of "Laws of Men and Laws of Nature: The History of Scientific Expert Testimony in England and America" (Harvard University Press, 2004), and editor and co-editor of "Science and Law, Special volume of Science in Context" (Cambridge University Press, 1999); "Science, Technology and Israeli Society, Special volume of Israel Studies" (Indiana University Press, 2004); and "History of Israeli Science, special volume of Science in Context" (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in late 2010). Some of his later articles are: "The Emergence of the Silent Witness: The Legal and Medical Reception of X-rays in the USA," Social Studies of Science (2004) 34: 469-499; "Visual Images in the Courtroom: a Historical Perspective," Parallax (2008) 14 (4): 77-89. http://sciencestudies.ucsd.edu/Faculty/golan.html
David A. Lagnado David A. Lagnado is Senior Lecturer at the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences, University College London. He completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at University College London. His research focuses on the psychological processes that underlie human learning, reasoning and decision-making. David Lagnado has co- authored Straight Choices: the psychology of decision making (Psychology Press, 2007) with Ben Newell and David Shanks, and published numerous journal articles and book chapters, including "Thinking about Evidence" in Dawid, P., Twining, W., Vasilaki, M. (ed.) "Evidence, Inference and Enquiry" (British Academy/OUP, forthcoming), "Causal Thinking" in McKay-Illari, P., Russo, F., Williamson, J. (ed.) "Causality in the Sciences" (Oxford University Press 2010), "Judgments of cause and blame: the influence of intentionality and foreseeability", Cognition, 2008, 108, 754- 770, and "The impact of discredited evidence", Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 2008, 15, 1166-1173. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lagnado-lab/david_lagnado.html
The Nature of Scientific Evidence
Concern with clear and demonstrable evidence resides at the heart of modern culture and its systems of knowledge. Every well-established group of practitioners seems to have a clear sense of what they count as good evidence, but when we look for a general characterization of evidence and its probative force, answers are difficult to come by. Philosophers, historians, jurists and scientists have all made serious investigations into the nature of evidence. Still, there is neither a widely agreed-upon theory nor a general rule of evidence that applies universally. In this course we will explore various notions of evidence in various domains of theory and practice. Our program is distinctive in three ways. First, we will provide a broad multi-disciplinary inquiry into the nature of evidence, employing the combined resources of philosophy, psychology and history. Second, we will take a detailed look at the philosophical and historical contexts of various concepts of evidence in science, medicine and law. Third, we will make a sustained effort to link up abstract concepts and questions with concrete practices and moments.
The lectures will deal with the following topics: Philosophical theories of evidence and their problems Cognitive approaches to evidential reasoning Causal models in evidential reasoning Legal theories of evidence and their evolution Probabilistic and statistical handling of evidence Evidential reasoning in medicine Evidence for public policy and public consumption Professionalization, quantification and standardization of evidence Evidence, authority and commitment Social and moral dimensions of evidence Evidence in scientific practice
Cost of the program: EUR 880,–
Lodging in student dormitories is available at approximately EUR 350,– for the whole duration of the course.
Applicants should submit:
A short educational curriculum vitae
A list of most recent courses and grades or a copy of your diplomas
A one-page statement (in English), briefly outlining your previous work and your reason for attending the VISU-SWC
A (sealed) letter of recommendation from your professor, including some comment on your previous work. This letter may also be sent directly by your professor.
A passport photo
Please make sure that all documents arrive in time because we can process only complete applications.
To participate mastering English on a high level is required.
Application deadline: Febr uary 15, 2011 (Later applications may be considered if space is still available.)
A letter of admission together with a detailed syllabus will reach successful applicants early in March , 2011 .
The administration of VISU-SWC at the University of Vienna can assist the candidates admitted in applying for funds and in the accreditation of the course, but unfortunately, cannot offer financial assistance. However, for a few gifted applicants who can demonstrate that, despite serious documented efforts, they have not been able to obtain any financial support, in particular due to economic difficulties in their own country, a tuition waiver grant, awarded by the Institute Vienna Circle and the University of Vienna, will be provided.
Applications should be sent to
Professor Friedrich Stadler, Institute Vienna Circle
University Campus, Spitalgasse 2–4, Court 1, Entrance 1.13