AaC: The Collective Dimension of Science (Nancy, Dec 2011)

!!!!!!! The deadline for submission of abstracts has been extended to June 10th !!!!!!!


Keynote speakers

  • John Greco (Saint Louis University)
  • Philip Kitcher (Columbia University)
  • Paul Thagard (University of Waterloo)
  • John Woods (University of British Columbia)
  • Jesus Zamora-Bonilla (UNED, Spain)

Program Committee

Anouk Barberousse (IHPST, University Paris 1), Alvin Goldman (Rutgers), Gerhard Heinzmann (Archives Poincaré, University Nancy 2), Cyrille Imbert (Archives Poincaré, University Nancy 2), Johannes Lenhard (University of Bielefeld), Olivier Roy (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Roger Pouivet (Archives Poincaré, University Nancy 2), Jan Sprenger (Tilburg University), John Woods (University of British Columbia).

Presentation of the conference

The goal of the conference is to discuss philosophical issues related to the collective aspects of science, especially within computational science and “big science”. While studies within social epistemology already investigate the social dimension of the production and validation of beliefs and knowledge, science is not their core object of study. This conference will be devoted to examining to what extent a too individualistic and resource-insensitive philosophical perspective about scientific practices and the making of scientific knowledge is insufficient and conversely to what extent a focus upon extended and/or social agents is needed. We wish to create fruitful interactions between researchers from different fields or subfields such as philosophy of science, (social) epistemology, epistemic logic, formal epistemology, philosophy of economics, philosophy of logic but also mathematics, computer science or cognitive science (especially  distributed cognition).

Though this conference mainly addresses philosophical questions, submissions in history or sociology of science that are clearly connected with some of the research questions will also be considered.

The conference language is English.

A few travel grants will be available for students presenting a paper at the conference. To apply for a travel grant, please send an email to Cyrille.Imbert@univ-nancy2.fr after submitting your abstract and include a CV with description of status and affiliation.


  • Anouk Barberousse (IHPST, University Paris 1)
  • Cyrille Imbert (Archives Poincaré, University Nancy 2)

Information about submissions

We invite submissions of extended abstracts. Submissions should take the form of an extended abstract of 1000 words. All submissions must be made electronically through our automatic submission system (see the submission page) by May 30, 2011 at the latest. Papers should be suitable for a presentation of around 30 minutes with a 15 minute question-and-answer session. Decisions will be made by June 30, 2011 and authors notified by the beginning of July. All enquiries about the call for papers should be addressed to Cyrille.Imbert@univ-nancy2.fr.

Questions of interest include, but are not limited to:

– Similarities and differences (definitional, epistemological, etc.) between individual and collective or computer-based scientific knowledge
– Description and analysis of collective and/or computational scientific agents and their capacities
– Role and epistemology of various types of computer (personal computers, giant computers, parallel computers, etc.)
– How is collective scientific work achieved in practice?
– Scientific understanding within collective and computational science
– Role and modalities of scientific communication within collective and computational science
– Transmission and diffusion of scientific results: role of images, formats, summaries, versions of results, etc.
– The epistemology of scientific storage: (open) encyclopedias, public databases, scientific archives, etc.
– Division and distribution of scientific work, modularity of tasks and scientific optimality
– Empiricism, conventionalism and pragmatism at the age of collective and computational science
– Individual and collective scientific rationality
– Tacit knowledge within scientific interactions and practices
– Traditional questions within social epistemology (e.g. expertise, testimony, judgment aggregation, organization of knowledge communities, etc.) applied to science
– Comparative approaches between formal and empirical sciences about the listed topics
– Epistemological issues within “big science” e.g. climate science, explorative biological research programs (HGP, barcoding of life), collective science in high-energy physics, etc.

Dates and Deadlines

– May 30 2011: Abstract submission deadline
– June 30 2011: Notification of acceptance
– November 1 2011: Registration deadline
– December 8-10 2011: Conference

Financial support for the conference is provided by the MSH Lorraine, the Archives Poincaré and the IHPST.




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