The Centre for Science and Philosophy was established at the University of Bristol in 2011 in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Studies. Using the Department of Philosophy's international reputation for excellence in the philosophy and history of science as a foundation, the Centre will build on the various successful activities that have already been taking place under the research theme of Science, Knowledge and Reality.
The Centre will promote the understanding and interpretation of science by supporting collaborative work between philosophers and researchers in history, economics, logic and mathematics, engineering, psychology, physics and the chemical, biological, medical, geographical, social and political sciences. The Department of Philosophy has longstanding links with the Mathematics and Physics departments and the Centre for Complexity Studies, and has more recently been a central participant in the interdisciplinary Medical Humanities programme. Associations with universities further afield include those with the Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy, headed by Hannes Leitgeb. We will seek to improve and extend such links at both the national and international level, with the help of various seminars, workshops and conferences.
Potential areas of study extend beyond the academic discipline of philosophy of science as narrowly conceived to incorporate all forms of intellectual inquiry that take science or its results as their object. For example: the sociology and history of science; science studies; the history and philosophy of medicine and ethical issues arising from medicine; and the relationship between scientific institutions and public policy and ethics.The Centre will seek to encourage public engagement with the university by organising open events and activities and providing forums for the discussion of ethical, social and political issues raised by current scientific practice and research.