Scientific Models and Simulations (4) Worskhop. UofT May 7-9, 2010

Network Node: 
Fri., May. 7, 2010 (All day) - Sun., May. 9, 2010 (All day)

Note: This workshop also has ties with the following Themes:

Scientific Communication and its Publics Theme and Historical Epistemology and Ontology Theme.

Location: University of Toronto

This is the fourth in an irregular “series” of high profile international conferences examining the nature and use of scientific models and simulations across the natural and social sciences.  The series began in Paris in 2006, followed by a second meeting in Tilburg in 2007, and a third in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2009.  These events have galvanized research in the field, and have provided a focus for a burgeoning research program in the history and philosophy of science.  The numbers of submissions, attendance, and global interest have grown with each event, and we are keen now to turn the spotlight on Canada as a host and facilitator.  Indeed, leading contributions to this field have been made by researchers in Canada (including Robert Batterman at the University of Western Ontario, Alex Rueger at the University of Alberta, and Andrew Wayne at the University of Guelph, to name a few; the organizers have also contributed), and we hope to showcase this here in the context of an international meeting.

Scientific models and computer simulations play numerous roles in the sciences, but as a class of tools for use in the articulation of theory, experiment, technological design and application, and prognostication for purposes of public policy, they have only relatively recently come under systematic scrutiny by the community of scholars in history and philosophy of science.  The conference aims to raise and investigate important questions about the methodology of practices of modelling and computer simulation, providing a forum for ongoing debates and new angles of approach, on such topics as:  how models and simulations are constructed; how they are confirmed; how they may be understood to represent and explain worldly phenomena; how they function in cutting-edge research into(for example) artificial life, neural nets, and complexity theory; how they influence decisions in policy arenas concerning (for example) the efficacy of medical technologies and the implications of climate change.  The implications of this work now reach well beyond the remit of academic studies in history and philosophy, into spheres of debate concerning the directions of future scientific research, how the outputs of research are communicated beyond the scientific establishment, and how government policy is informed by scientific expertise.

There was no registration fee for MS4, but anyone who wished to attend registered by sending an email message with their name, institutional affiliation, and contact information to


Anjan Chakravartty (IHPST) and Margaret Morrison (Dept. of Philosophy), University of Toronto