Aarhus Universitets segl

CSS Colloquium: Dunja Šešelja, Ruhr University Bochum/TU Eindhoven

Towards epistemically responsible fact-checking of scientific claims

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Onsdag 8. marts 2023,  kl. 14:15 - 15:45


1531-215 (D3)

To combat the spread of disinformation, online media has introduced the practice of 'fact-checking'. While its application to political claims has been the subject of scholarly debates, fact-checking of scientific claims has received comparatively less attention. Yet, applied to the frontier scientific research,  fact-checking can be especially challenging. For one thing, claims at the frontier of science are rarely fully established as facts. Moreover, whether a scientific claim is factual cannot always be easily 'checked'. This is because ongoing inquiry, often pervaded by scientific disagreements and controversies, is typically characterized by a high degree of risk and uncertainty. This raises the question: how can we evaluate scientific claims concerning ongoing inquiry in an epistemically responsible way? In this talk we argue that assessing whether a scientific claim is adequately justified requires not only sensitivity to the evidence in favor of that claim, but also sensitivity to the field of research that has produced the claim. We suggest that this requires sensitivity to two kinds of reasons often overlooked in fact-checking discussions: higher-order evidence and inquisitive reasons.

(Joint work with Will Fleisher (Georgetown University) and Daniel C. Friedman (Stanford University)).

Coffee, tea, cakes and fruit will be served before the colloquium @ 2 pm.

Please contact Samuel Schindler (samuel.schindler@css.au.dk) for Zoom link.