Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science

55th Annual Program

Download the BCPS 2014-15 Program

BCPS poster 2014-15 - single page -page-001

Multi-Model Approaches in the Sciences

Friday, October 10th, 2014
The Castle
225 Bay State Rd.
3pm – 6pm

Pathways to Conceptual Innovation: Multi-Model Approaches in Neuro-Engineering Sciences

Nancy J. Nersessian Psychology, Harvard University

Currents in the Gene Pool: What Multi-Model Approaches Can Tell Us About Bacterial ‘Species’

William Hanage Epidemiology, Harvard University

Local High-Resolution Climate Projections: Why a Multi-Model Approach Doesn’t Help

Roman Frigg Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method, LSE

The Robert S. Cohen Forum

Galileo 450th Anniversary

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Photonics Colloquium Room (906)
9th Floor, Photonics Center
8 St. Mary’s Street
1pm – 4pm

Gallileo 450th- version 2

Galileo and the Laws of Nature

Dan Garber Philosophy, Princeton University

The Galilean Tradition and Newtonian Mechanics

Zvi Biener Philosophy, University of Cincinnati

Galileo’s Laughter: Knowledge, Play and Consequences

Paula Findlen History, Stanford University

The festivities continue at 5pm with a reception and tour of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard University starting in Science Center Room 252, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. The highlight will be a presentation on “Galileo’s Geometrical and Military Compass: Job Hunting Like an Engineer,” by the Curator, Dr. Sara Schechner. Sponsored by the Harvard Department of the History of Science. Directions at

Philosophy of Paleontology

Friday, November 21st, 2014
The Castle
225 Bay State Rd.

Paleontology- BCPS-poster2

2:00pm – 6:00pm

What is a Fossil?

Derek Turner Philosophy, Connecticut College

Fossil Preparators and the Construction of Paleontological Specimens and Knowledge

Caitlin Wylie STS, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Exploring the Complicated Role of Evolutionary Modeling in Paleobiological Research

Patrick Forber Philosophy, Tufts University

What Use Are Species Concepts in Paleobiology? The Mystery of the Triceratops’s Mother

Adrian Currie Philosophy, University of Calgary


100th Anniversary of General Relativity

Cosponsored by the Center for Einstein Studies at Boston University
Friday, March 27th, 2015
The Castle
225 Bay State Rd.

9:30am – 12:30pm

  • “No Success Like Failure…” Einstein’s Quest for General Relativity 1907-1920

    Michel Janssen History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota

  • Inertial thinking? A Fresh Look at the Equivalence Principle

    Eleanor KnoxPhilosophy, Kings College London

  • Background Independence: The Hole Story

    John StachelCenter for Einstein Studies, Boston University

  • Powers of One: Einstein and Unimodular Invariance

    Kaća Bradonjić Physics, Wellesley College

2pm – 6pm

  • Einstein, Hilbert, and the Search for Generally Covariant Field Equations

    Katherine Brading Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

  • Einstein’s Culminating Paper: The Foundation of General Relativity

    Jürgen Renn Max Planck Institute, Berlin

  • The Einstein Challenge for Differential Geometry: The Case of Weyl and Cartan

    Erhard Scholz Mathematics & Natural Sciences, University of Wuppertal

  • Einstein and the Development of 20th Century Philosophy of Science

    Don Howard Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

The Alfred I. Tauber Forum

Scientific Pluralism

Friday, April 10th, 2015
The Castle
225 Bay State Rd.
3pm – 6pm

Cancer: Disunified Kind, Unified Explanation

Anya Plutynski Philosophy, Washington University in St. Louis

Mind the Gap: Explanatory Pluralism and Evolutionary Explanations of Human Behavior

Subrena Smith Philosophy, University of New Hampshire

Pluralism and the Progress of Science

Hasok Chang History & Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Diversity, Plasticity, and the Science of Sexuality

Cosponsored by the Biology Department and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Friday, April 24th, 2015
Photonics Colloquium Room (906)
9th Floor, Photonics Center
8 St. Mary’s Street

9:30am – 12:30pm

  • Development, Evolution, and the Diversity of Non-Reproductive Sexual Behavior: An Introduction

    Karen Warkentin Biology, Boston University

  • Sexuality at the Nature-Culture Divide: Historical Lessons

    Erika Milam History, Princeton University

  • The Evolution of Male Same-Sex Sexuality: Lessons from the Samoan Fa’afafine and Japanese Macaques

    Paul VaseyPsychology, University of Lethbridge – Alberta

2pm – 6pm

  • Sexual Fluidity in Women and Men: What Is the Relevant Time Scale?

    Lisa Diamond Psychology, University of Utah

  • Sexual Selection: How Do We Interpret Plasticity and Flexibility in Mate Choice and Beyond?

    Malin Ah-King History, Humboldt University of Berlin

  • Sexuality Beyond the Nature-Culture Divide: Philosophical Lessons

    Helen Longino Philosophy, Stanford

  • Round Table Discussion