The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning teaching and research. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.


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Gillies, Donald

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science and Mathematics

Gillies talk by Tom Dalziel

e-mail: donald.gillies [AT]

Prof Gillies studied Mathematics and Philosophy at Cambridge as an undergraduate. In 1966 he began graduate studies in Professor Sir Karl Popper's department at the London School of Economics, and he completed his PhD on the Foundations of Probability in 1970 with Professor Imre Lakatos as supervisor.

From 1968 to 1971, he was a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. In 1971 he joined the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Chelsea College, University of London. As a result of various mergers, he became a member of the Philosophy Department at King's College London in 1992. In 1994 he was appointed Professor of Philosophy of Science and Mathematics. In 2004 he transferred to the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London. His main research areas have been philosophy of science, particularly foundations of probability, and philosophy of logic and mathematics. Since 1990 he has been researching into the interactions between artificial intelligence and various branches of philosophy, including logic, scientific method, probability and causality. Around 2000 he became interested in how philosophy of science applies to medicine.

Lakatos, Popper, and Feyerabend: Some Personal Reminiscences

Gillies talk by Tom Dalziel

On 28 February 2011, Donald Gillies presented memories of meeting and working with some of the heroic personalities in philosophy of science, including Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend. This podcast records his presentation. One of the STS undergraduates, Alex Patel, introduces Donald and moderates the discussion.

This lecture was the 2011 annual lecture of the STS Lunar Society. 

  • podcast (mp3, 42Mb). 90 minutes. This lecture is 75 minutes in length, followed by questions and answers.
  • paper (pdf)

Book: How Should Research Be Organised?

Recently Prof Gillies has applied results from the history and philosophy of science to the problem of assessing the research assessment exercise (RAE). The conclusion reached is that the RAE is likely to make the research output of the UK worse rather than better. The argument for this is given in detail in his book.

  • for more information (link)
  • podcast: listen to a conversation with Dr Gillies about his project and his criticisms of the RAE (mp3, 15Mb). 35 minutes.


Full details of Donald Gillies' publications are to be found on Complete List of Publications

More user-friendly information is contained in Guide to Publications. This gives a selected list of papers arranged by topics, and provides, wherever possible, a downloadable version of the paper.

Page last modified on 17 mar 11 12:32 by Joe Cain

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