Perspectives on big science and the question of justice

An international Workshop co-organised with Dr Panagiotis Charitos (CERN) 22nd–23rd April 2021, virtual ZOOM meeting, N.B. Central European Time, i.e. commences 13.00 BST (Edinburgh) 

This workshop brings together a multi-disciplinary group including philosophers of science, political philosophers, physicists, and economists to discuss a wealth of issues on science and justice, especially large-investments in Big Science and questions surrounding how and in what ways science benefits society and can (and ought to) foster fairer democratic societies.

Powerpoints available at

Speakers and Chairs

Sibylle Anderl (Astrophysicist, science writer, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung science journalist)

Alexander Bird (Bertrand Russell Chair of Philosophy, University of Cambridge)

Maria Graça Carvalho (MEP, Former Principal Advisor EC)

Heather Douglas (Prof. of Philosophy, Michigan State University)

Massimo Florio (Prof. of Public Economics, University of Milan, Centre for Industrial Studies)

Anne Glover (Former President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh)

Rolf Heuer (EU Scientific Advisor, SESAME, former CERN’s Director General)

Michela Massimi (Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Edinburgh)

Žaneta Ozoliņa (Professor of International Relations, University of Latvia)

Mona Siddiqui (Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies, University of Edinburgh)

Andrea Taroni (Chief Editor, Nature Physics)

Emmanuel Tsesmelis (CERN, Directorate for International Relations)

Jonathan Wolff (Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

John Womersley (Former Director of European Spallation Source, Chair ERIC)




Thursday 22nd April

1400-1415 Welcome by Dr Panagiotis Charitos & Michela Massimi
Session 1: Investing in Big Science
14.15-15.15 Rolf Heuer & Emmanuel Tsesmelis
Session 2: The economics of Big Science
15.20-16.20 Massimo Florio & John Womersley
16.20-16.40 virtual coffee break
Session 3: The politics of Big Science
16.40-17.40 Sibylle Anderl & Anne Glover
Roundtable for first day
17.50-19.00 Problems and prospects for sustainable and responsible Big Science investments; Chaired by Andrea Taroni (Chief Editor of Nature Physics)

Friday 23rd April

Session 4: Scientific progress and social progress
14.00-15.00 Alexander Bird & Michela Massimi
Session 5: Science and Justice
15.10-16.10 Jonathan Wolff & Heather Douglas
16.10-16.30 virtual coffee break
Session 6: Global Governance, Big Science and European Science
16.30-17.30 Maria Graça Carvalho & Žaneta Ozoliņa
Roundtable for second day
17.40-18.50 Big Science investments, global governance and the question of justice; Chaired by Mona Siddiqui