Thomas Sturm: "Scientific Innovation"

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - The Rausing Room
  • Organiser: Department of History of Science and Ideas, Department of Philosophy and The Engaging Vulnerability Programme
  • Contact person: Sven Widmalm, Sharon Rider
  • Seminarium

Joint Seminar – The Higher Seminar in History of Science and Ideas, The Higher Seminar in the Philosophy of Language and Culture, and The Engaging Vulnerability Seminar

Thomas Sturm, ICREA and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona: "Scientific innovation: A conceptual explication and a dilemma"

I develop an analysis of the concept of scientific innovation. When research is innovated, highly novel and useful elements of investigation begin to spread over a scientific community, resulting from a process which is neither due to blind chance nor to necessity, but to a minimal use of rationality. This, however, leads into a tension between two claims: (1) scientific innovation can be explained rationally; (2) no existing account of rationality explains scientific innovation. There are good reasons for both (1) and (2), but the claims cannot be jointly accepted. In particular, I argue that neither standard nor bounded theories of rationality can deliver such an explanation. That should make us more cautious in using the terminology of ’scientific innovation', particularly in context of science policy.