Philosophy of Contemporary Science in Practice


The project hosts several subprojects which involve a range of case studies.

  • Interdisciplinarity: a philosophical approach to disciplinary structure and their impact on scientific practice. Hanne Andersen studies the distribution of theories from different fields within groups of scientists. Her aim is to analyze the emergence of consensus in interdisciplinary teams.
  • Empirical Social Epistemology: a case study based investigation of collaboration among scientists on group level. Susann Wagenknecht epistemic trust, testimony and joint authorship in research teams. She sets out to create a fruitful dialogue between empirical observation and philosophical theory.
  • Philosophy of Biology: a project on recent developments in contemporary biology. The focus is on two issues. First, Sara Green describes the diverse roles models play for explaining biological phenomena. Second, she investigates the nature of explanations in biologists' theorizing.
  • Explanations in Nanoscience: a project on the different structures of explanations in nanoscience and its contributing sciences by Mads Goddiksen. Have the different structures from the contributing sciences been integrated, and should there be more focus on these differences in nanoscience teaching?

We believe that intensive case studies are the most fruitful way to investigate the cognitive dimensions of science as it develops in practice (Nersessian 1992; Nersessian 1995), that case studies can illustrate aspects of scientific work and argumentation that are not handled well by currently standard philosophical analysis (Burian 2001), and that close analyses of particular cases and their implications are necessary if the results are to have an impact in everyday science and with practicing scientists (Maienschein, Laubichler, and Loettgers 2008).