Simulations of Scientific Inquiry

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Simulations of Scientfic Inquiry
(DFG Scientific Networks Grant)

Computational modeling in the form of agent-based models (ABMs) has become an increasingly popular method of investigating social aspects of scientific inquiry: from opinion dynamics, to efficient communication structures, to the division of cognitive labor, to argumentation strategies, etc. At the same time, the development of ABMs of science has been largely fragmented. On the one hand, the majority of ABMs are developed independently of one another, even when targeting the same research question. On the other hand, what we lack is a widely agreed-upon methodology of ABMs, specifying how they should be constructed and validated. Moreover, what exactly we can learn from ABMs and what kind of explanations they offer has been controversially discussed in philosophy and beyond.

In light of these issues, the field of agent-based modeling in philosophy of science and social epistemology would greatly benefit from joint investigations, discussions and direct collaborations. The aim of this research network is precisely to provide a platform to this end, focusing on three topical units:

  1. Epistemology of agent-based modeling: what can we learn from ABMs?
  2. Methodology of agent-based modeling: towards robust and empirically validated results.
  3. Towards an integrative practice: from novel applications to novel interpretations.

This project is funded by a DFG Scientific Networks Grant: for details of the members of the network, please see the "Members" page. The funding will be used to support a series of four workshops and conferences. For details of these events, please see the "Events" link.

The local network coordinator is Rush Stewart (