Modeling the social organization of science

Chasing complexity through simulations
  • Carlo Martini
  • Manuela Fernández Pinto
Original paper in Philosophy of Social Sciences


At least since Kuhn’s Structure, philosophers have studied the influence of social factors in science’s pursuit of truth and knowledge. More recently, formal models and computer simulations have allowed philosophers of science and social epistemologists to dig deeper into the detailed dynamics of scientific research and experimentation, and to develop very seemingly realistic models of the social organization of science. These models purport to be predictive of the optimal allocations of factors, such as diversity of methods used in science, size of groups, and communication channels among researchers. In this paper we argue that the current research faces an empirical challenge. The challenge is to connect simulation models with data. We present possible scenarios about how the challenge may unfold.


Social organization of science Simulation models Computer simulations Empiricism Social epistemology of science 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Social and Moral Philosophy, Department of Political and Economic StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and Center of Applied EthicsUniversidad de los AndesBogotáColombia

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