Sunday, May 27, 2018
Campion College - CM Auditorium
Historians, philosophers, journalists and scientists often assume that investigation in mature science advances by using fundamental theories to explain more and more phenomena. For example, many assume that genetics is based on the discovery that genes are the fundamental actors behind biological processes, and that geneticists are now working out exactly how they direct (or misdirect) those processes.
Waters will use the example of genetics to illustrate a different account. On his account, scientists do not have a fundamental understanding of complex phenomena such as biological development. What they have are effective strategies for intervening on complex biological processes, which enables them to learn about these processes in a partial and piecemeal fashion. He will conclude with the suggestion that interpreting scientific knowledge in the context of investigation (as illustrated in his talk) offers society a better perspective for understanding both the successes and the limitations of science.
Speakers: C. Kenneth Waters, Canada Research Chair in Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of Calgary