Science and Technology Studies


STS offers degrees at each university level: undergraduate, masters, and PhD


STS Research Seminar: 'How should we think about the epistemological strengths of past theories?

02 June 2021, 4:30 pm–6:00 pm

Join this STS Research Seminar with Dana Tulodziecki, Purdue University

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students




Department of Science and Technology Studies

'How should we think about the epistemological strengths of past theories?' - Dana Tulodziecki, Purdue University. To receive the joining instructions, please email sts@ucl.ac.uk.

Snow’s famous South London water study (1853—1854) is widely hailed as a paradigm of experimental methodology.  Re-examining Snow, I show that, in fact, Snow’s “natural experiment” had many methodological flaws.  As a result, I will argue, we should be wary of locating the epistemological strengths of successful theories in the methodological arguments that (allegedly) supported them, even if those theories turn out to be right.  And while the default in philosophy of science is often to focus on the methodologies of ‘winning’ theories, I argue that this focus is misguided and might lead us to neglect much of what is actually methodologically valuable, especially during periods of scientific controversy.

About the Speaker

Dana Tulodziecki

Associate Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University

More about Dana Tulodziecki