Lauren Ross, logic & philosophy of science assistant professor, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers to study the role of causal explanation in biology and medicine. The fellowship will support a six-month collaboration with Stephan Hartmann and other researchers at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). The project builds on work Ross is currently doing – funded by the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Program - to clarify distinct types of scientific explanation and the principles that guide them. Specifically, she’s focusing on how disease explanations differ from standard conceptions of how scientific explanation works.

“Scientists and philosophers have various models for how scientific explanation works, but they are rarely created with disease examples in mind,” she says. “Attention to disease explanation reveals distinct scientific methods, unique ways of representing complex explanatory targets, and different standards for what counts as a valid explanation. Clarifying these differences is useful in supporting our best science, clarifying the rationale that justifies scientific claims, and enhancing science communication to various audiences.”

Funding for her Humboldt-supported project begins this summer.





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