UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Julia Sánchez Dorado


About me

I am a full-time PhD student in the Department of Science and Technology Studies (UCL) since January 2014. I am working in the area of Philosophy and History of Science and my main supervisor is Dr. Chiara Ambrosio.

During this time I have been a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant in the STS course “Philosophy of Science”, in the Philosophy Department course "Knowledge and Reality" and in the BASc in Arts and Sciences course “Value Judgements: Qualitative Thinking”.

Before I started my PhD in this department, I did a B.A. in Media Studies at the University of Seville (Spain), including one year of studies at the Hochschule der Medien (Stuttgart, Germany); and a M.A. in Philosophy of Science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, Mexico City).

About my Research

Areas of interest: Philosophy of Science; Epistemology; Aesthetics; History of Science and Art.

My PhD proposal is framed within the field of contemporary Philosophy of Science, while establishing a dialogue with central debates in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art. The need for this interdisciplinary dialogue is justified by the observation that the problems of ‘representation’ and ‘similarity’ can only be genuinely understood in the intersection of these two domains.

In particular, I am exploring how ‘similarities’ -between scientific models and the natural phenomena they refer to- play a role in the construction of fruitful scientific representations. But instead of considering ‘similarity’ in the singular and trying to define it in a very specific way (i.e. as isomorphism, homomorphism, appearance resemblance), I intend to argue that there is a plurality of compatible ways in which similarities of different kinds are present in scientific practices. Moreover, I will defend that ‘distortions’, such as idealizations, generalizations or abstractions, are not incompatible with similarities but part of the same creative process of representing in science.

Concerning the field of art, where there is a longer tradition problematizing the role of mimesis in depiction and its inseparability from distortions, 
I plan to examine some cases from the Avant-garde period (beginning of the 20th), a moment when apparently most traces of similarity were removed from the new discourse of art.

Recent talks and Publications

-(forthcoming) SÁNCHEZ-DORADO, J. “Three Lessons from Art in the Understanding of Scientific Representations”. In FRENCH, S. and BUENO, O. Thinking about Science and Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Science Together. ROUTLEDGE, 2016.

-(forthcoming) SÁNCHEZ-DORADO, J. "Semejanza creativa en la práctica representacional de la ciencia". Chapter in PÉREZ-RANSANZ, A; PONCE, A. Creatividad en Ciencia, Técnica y Tecnología. UNAM, 2016.

-Master’s thesis: SÁNCHEZ DORADO, J. (2012) La ciencia representada. Trazando vínculos entre los debates filosóficos contemporáneos sobre la noción de representación científica (“Science represented. Drawing links between contemporary debates around the notion of ‘scientific representation’). Mexico: UNAM, 2012. To read on-line (in Spanish) here.

Talk: "Models require judgments of similarity". Models and Simulations 7. Barcelona, May 2016.

Invited Talk: "Misrepresentation and Similarity. Philosophy of Science meets Aesthetics". One-day conference Representation in Science and Art. University of Manchester, February 2016.

Talk: "Judgments of Similarity, Understanding and Scientific Practices". Conference Modelling and Representation: How to Make World(s) with Symbols. San Sebastián, December 2015.

Poster: "Some misconstructions of similarity and a practice-based defence of its value". Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA). Funded by EPSA Graduate Student Grants. Düsseldorf, September 2015.

Talk: "Creative Similarity in Science and Art", within the panel 'Aesthetics in Scientific Practice'. Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP). Aarhus, Denmark, June 2015.

Talk: "The problem of similarity in the understanding of scientific and artistic representations”. Conference Shaping the Trading Zone: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together Funded by the BSPS. University of Leeds, 6th September 2014.


W:   https://ucl.academia.edu/JuliaSANCHEZDORADO
E-mail:   julia.sanchez-dorado@ucl.ac.uk