Announcement: Philosophy of Scientific Experiment Conference

Call for papers

PSX Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation 3 (PSX3)

Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, 2012

University of Colorado, Boulder

Keynote Speakers:   Professor Eric Cornell, University of Colorado, Nobel Prize (Physics, 2001)

 Professor Friedrich Steinle, History of Science, University of Berlin

Experiments play essential roles in science. Philosophers of science have emphasized their role in the testing of theories but they also play other important roles. They are, for example, essential in exploring new phenomenological realms and discovering new effects and phenomena. Nevertheless, experiments are still an underrepresented topic in mainstream philosophy of science. This conference on the philosophy of scientific experimentation, the third in a series,  is intended to give a home to philosophical interests in, and concerns about, experiment. Among the questions that will be discussed are the following: How is experimental practice organized, around theories or around something else? How independent is experimentation from theories? Does it have a life of its own? Can experiments undermine the threat posed to the objectivity of science by the thesis of theory-ladenness, underdetermination, or the Duhem-Quine thesis? What are the important similarities and differences between experiments in different sciences? What are the experimental strategies scientists use for making sure that their experiments work correctly? How are phenomena discovered or created in the laboratory? Is experimental knowledge epistemically more secure than observational knowledge? Can experiments give us good reasons for belief in theoretical entities? What role do computer simulations play in the assessment of experimental background? How trustworthy are they? Do they warrant the same kind of inferences as experimental knowledge? Are they theory by other means?

Submissions on any aspect of experiment and simulation are welcome. They should be in the form of an extended abstract (1000 words) submitted through EasyChair

The deadline for submission is July 15, 2012. Decisions on acceptance will be made by August 15, 2010.

Further information about the conference is availablewebsite

Small travel grants, a minimum of $200, will be available to help defray travel expenses for presenters of contributed papers. Details will be available later.

For any questions concerning the conference please contact Allan Franklin at or any of the members of the Program Committee. They are

Deborah Mayo

John Norton

Wendy Parker

Slobodan Perovic

Samuel Schindler

Marcel Weber

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