Visiting Scholars and Senior Visiting Fellows

Andrew Chignell

Andrew Chignell is Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor at Princeton University with appointments in Philosophy, Religion, and the University Center for Human Values. Chignell’s work to date focuses on Immanuel Kant and other modern European philosophers, philosophy of religion, the moral psychology of hope and despair, aesthetics, and the ethics of belief. He also has an interest in food ethics, and recently co-produced (with Will Starr at Cornell) a Massive Open Online Course on “The Ethics of Eating” for

Andrew will be visiting in June 2020.

Jan Potters

Jan Potters recently gained his PhD from the University of Antwerp.  Jan works in the history and philosophy of science, investigating the epistemology of science and the nature of scientific representation, through the examination of historical case studies.  Jan has published in journals such as the European Journal for Philosophy of Science and Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science.

Jan is currently visiting us, February-March 2020.

Sophie Ritson

Sophie is a postdoc in the research unit ‘The Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider’ at the University of Klagenfurt in Vienna. She is a historian and philosopher of science, interested in integrated approaches to physics and 20 and 21st century sciences. She is currently working on measurement and uncertainty, as well as understandings of creativity and novelty, in the context of high energy experimental physics. Her previous work focused on the string theory controversy, with an emphasis on appraisal and constraints of non-empirical science.

Sophie visited us May-June 2019.

Laura Bujalance

Laura is an Associate Professor at Cela Open Institute (affiliated Centre to the Universidad Camilo José Cela). Laura’s research work focuses on general philosophy of science topics such as the role of models in scientific explanation, causal explanations, dispositions, and accounts of theory change within scientific realism. As a result of her training in Physics, Laura’s cases study revolve around the emergence of electromagnetism and electrodynamics in the British, French and German scientific traditions in the first-half of the nineteenth century. Laura pays special attention to the work of Prof. Mary Hesse, having devoted her PhD Dissertation (2017) to the analysis of Hesse’s rendition of the role of physical action.

She has recently begun to work on general philosophy debates within Biology, i.e. a dispositional realism of biological phenomena and the explanatory power of pathways.

Laura visited us in Edinburgh in February 2019.

Siska De Baerdemaeker

Siska is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. Her primary interests lie in philosophy of cosmology, philosophy of physics and general philosophy of science. Before embarking on her PhD at Pittsburgh, she completed an M.A. in philosophy and a B.Sc. in physics at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Siska visited the project in February 2019.

Dr. Collin Rice, Bryn Mawr College

Collin is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bryn Mawr College. Collin’s research focuses on general philosophy of science topics concerning explanation, idealization, and modeling—especially concerning similarities between these concepts across cases in biology and physics. In particular, Collin’s work has analyzed various noncausal explanations (e.g. statistical and equilibrium explanations) that appeal to counterfactual dependencies that are independent of causal facts. He has published extensively on these topics including “Moving Beyond Causes: Optimality Models and Scientific Explanation” in Nous and “Models Don’t Decompose That Way: A Holistic View of Idealized Models” in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. As a consequence of working on explanation and idealization, Collin’s work has also made contact with debates concerning mental concepts, scientific understanding, and realism.

Collin visited us in Edinburgh in June 2018.

Prof. Margaret Morrison, University of Toronto

Margaret is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the recipient of the Siemens Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Margaret has extensively published on modelling in both the physical and the biological sciences and on theory unification in physics. Over the years she has engaged with philosophy of science looking at both the history of science, the history of philosophy and current scientific practice, including cutting-edge ATLAS searches. Her books include Models as Mediators (co-edited with Mary Morgan, 1999); Unifying Scientific Theories (CUP 2007); and more recently Reconstructing Reality. Models, Mathematics, and Simulations (OUP 2015).

Margaret visited our ERC project in Edinburgh in November 2017.

Prof. Anjan Chakravartty, University of Notre Dame

Anjan’s research focuses on central issues in the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology, including topics in the philosophy of physics and biology. Much of this work revolves around debates about scientific realism (such as versions of entity realism and structural realism) and antirealism (especially versions of empiricism), as well as the nature of dispositions, causation, laws of nature, and natural kinds. He has worked on scientific modeling, representation, and attendant issues such as the nature of abstraction and idealization, and the consequences these practices have for concepts such as knowledge and truth, as well as the relationship between science, metaphysics, and the philosophy of science. His most recent book is called Scientific Ontology: Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Anjan visited our ERC project in Edinburgh in June 2017.


Prof. Sandra Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh

Sandra’s primary area of research is philosophy of biology. Her work covers a variety of epistemological and metaphysical issues in the philosophy of science, including scientific explanations of complex behaviour; emergence; laws in biology, and more recently perspectivalism in modelling practices in biology. Her publications tackle also the methodological consequences of biological robustness and key issues in policy-making. In 2015 Sandra was elected President of the Philosophy of Science Association. She is also a member of The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her latest book is Unsimple Truths. Science, Complexity, and Policy (University of Chicago Press 2009). Sandra is visiting us in Edinburgh in May 2016 to collaborate with us on our ERC project.

For more info on Sandra’s research interests and publications, please visit her personal website:

Sandra visited our ERC project in Edinburgh in May 2016.

Nora Boyd, University of Pittsburgh

Nora is a doctoral candidate in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.  Her dissertation topic is “Scientific Progress at the Boundaries of Experience”, supervised by John Norton.  Recently she has been working on explicating a characterisation of genuinely cumulative empirical evidence and the conditions under which empirical adequacy can be adjudicated in a responsible way.  These topics have lead her to think about methodological practices in data processing and their epistemological consequences.  Nora is particularly interested in philosophy of astrophysics and cosmology, philosophy of experiment, and empiricist philosophies of science.  Before beginning graduate work at Pittsburgh, she received an M.A. in Philosophy at the University of Waterloo and worked as a research engineer for a nuclear physics laboratory at the University of Washington.

Please visit Nora’s website to find out more about her work and interests: