Professor Alisa Bokulich Named 2021-2022 Fellow at Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Professor Alisa Bokulich in the promotional image for the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Alisa Bokulich has been named a 2021-2022 fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, joining an extraordinary group of artists, scientists, scholars, and practitioners who will learn from and inspire one another in a year of discovery and interdisciplinary exchange in Cambridge. Professor Bokulich will be researching and writing her book Philosophy of the Geosciences: Data, Models, and Uncertainty.

As she describes in her proposal, “this year the pandemic has forced the public to confront two difficult lessons: the natural world is complex, and science does not offer instantaneous definitive answers. For those who study science, this comes as no surprise. Uncertainty is an inherent part of science, science proceeds through an ever-ongoing process of iteration, and most importantly, uncertainty is not ignorance.” Professor Bokulich’s Radcliffe Fellowship project is to write a book articulating these points in the context of the geosciences, which have largely been neglected by philosophers of science. “The geosciences must confront some of the most pressing global issues today,” writes Professor Bokulich, “including climate change, species extinction, and a variety of geohazards.” Her project will show “how geoscientists build reliable knowledge about a complex world despite the uncertainties that arise in the data they collect, the models they build, and even the uncertainty estimates they give.”

Congratulations, Professor!