Evidence and Causality in the Sciences

5-7 September 2012
Keynes College Lecture Theatre 6, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
(location N6 on this map)

Organisers: Phyllis Illari and Federica Russo

 

INTRODUCTION

Causality is a vibrant and thriving topic in philosophy of science. It is closely related to many other challenging scientific concepts, such as probability and mechanisms, which arise in many different scientific contexts, in different fields.  For example, they are relevant to both causal inference (finding out what causes what) and causal explanation (explaining how a cause produces its effect).  They are also of interest to fields as diverse as astrophysics, biochemistry, biomedical and social sciences. There has also been an explosion of interest in evidence, most obviously in biomedical contexts with the rise of ‘evidence-based medicine’, but also elsewhere, such as in social science.  What is evidence?  How do we decide what our best sources of evidence are?

 This conference will examine the relation between causality and evidence. This involves questions about the foundations of the sciences, e.g. what is evidence and how does it contribute to causal knowledge?  But it also involves questions about specific applications, e.g. how should we best deal with the many problems of evidence given by expert witnesses in court; and questions about policy-making, e.g. what constitutes evidence of causation that is relevant to the design of socio-economic and public health policies?

 These questions are all of immense current concern.  Pressure on health systems from ageing populations, the obesity epidemic, coupled with severe financial constraints on public policy, means governments are demanding answers with increasing urgency.

Confirmed speakers include: Atocha Aliseda, Iain Chalmers, Mathias Frisch, David Lagnado, Sandra Mitchell
AHRC symposium on the hierarchy of evidence: Mauricio Barreto, Brendan Clarke, Jeremy Howick, Mike Kelly, Elseljin Kingma, Jacob Stegenga, Kurt Straif

Conference Programme
Abstracts
Dinners
NewSlides: Aliseda, Barreto, Cartwright, Chalmers, Clarke, Coster, DawidMusio, Frisch, HawkinsParkhurst, Howick, Hubbeling, Joffe, Kelly, Kleinberg, Kuorikoski, LaCaze, Lagnado, Laurent, McGivern, Mitchell, Muller, Osimani, Pietsch, Popa, Riccione, Straif, Steele, Stegenga, Suarez, Tarnovanu, .

 

TIMETABLE

 

PUBLICATION

A special issue on the topic 'Evidence and Causality in the Sciences' has been secured with Topoi.

Schedule:

 

LOCAL INFORMATION

Visitor Guide

Accommodation: Rooms on campus can be booked by filling in an online form, emailing hospitality-enquiry@kent.ac.uk or calling +44 1227 828000. There are also many hotels and guest houses within easy reach of the University: consult Tourist information or Around Canterbury for general tourist information.

Internet access: Eduroam connection is available at various places on campus. Alternatively, it is possible to apply for internet access at Computing Service Reception (the fee is 10 pounds).

 

ORGANISATION

This conference is organised by Phyllis Illari and Federica Russo and hosted by the Centre for Reasoning at the University of Kent. It is the seventh event in the Causality in the Sciences series of conferences.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We are very grateful to the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Mind Association, the British Society for the Philosophy of Science, and the University of Kent School of European Culture and Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Centre for Reasoning for providing financial support.