skip to navigation skip to content
Mon 14 Oct, Mon 21 Oct, Mon 28 Oct 2019
12:00 - 13:00

Venue: Unilever Lecture Theatre

Provided by: Department of Chemistry


Booking

Bookings cannot be made on this event (Event is completed).


Other dates:

No more events



Register interest
Register your interest - if you would be interested in additional dates being scheduled.


Booking / availability

Chemistry: Philosophy for Chemists

Mon 14 Oct, Mon 21 Oct, Mon 28 Oct 2019

Description

Science is a striking, successful and powerful feature of contemporary human cultures: it has transformed lives, enabled great technological feats and often revealed the world to be a much stranger place than appearances suggest. But what is science, really, and how and why has it been so successful? This 3 week course aims to introduce graduate students to some main themes in the philosophy of science generally, and the philosophy of chemistry in particular.

Lecture 1. What Is Science?

What makes science scientific? Is there something distinctive about scientific investigation which distinguishes it from other things humans do? Does science give us infallible knowledge? Or at least the kind of knowledge that always gets better? These questions will be discussed in relation to the views of some well-known philosophers of science including Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn.

Lecture 2. Measurement

Measurement is the foundation of any quantitative empirical science. We make all sorts of measurements routinely in the lab, but there are actually deep difficulties in knowing if our instruments and procedures correctly measure what we intend to measure. The epistemological issues involved here will be discussed through various scientific examples, including temperature and pH.

Lecture 3. Reductionism

Does all science ultimately boil down to fundamental physics? This is a pertinent issue to all areas of science, but an urgent one especially for chemistry. Considering the success of quantum chemistry one might imagine that chemistry is just applied physics, but the matter is not so simple. Looking at the longer history of the attempts to reduce chemistry to physics will also be instructive.

Target audience
  • Chemistry postgraduates
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available
Sessions

Number of sessions: 3

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Mon 14 Oct   12:00 - 13:00 12:00 - 13:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre Prof. Hasok Chang
2 Mon 21 Oct   12:00 - 13:00 12:00 - 13:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre Prof. Hasok Chang
3 Mon 28 Oct   12:00 - 13:00 12:00 - 13:00 Unilever Lecture Theatre Prof. Hasok Chang
Duration
  • Three sessions of one hour
Frequency
  • Yearly

Booking / availability