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Conference “Formal Models of Scientific Inquiry”

Throughout the last two decades philosophical discussions on scientific inquiry have increasingly utilized formal models. This has been especially fruitful for the investigation of social aspects of scientific inquiry, such as the division of cognitive labor, social factors that influence scientific decision making, etc. To this end a variety of formal models have been developed, starting from analytical ones to agent-based models that provide computer simulations of scientific inquiry. One of the main advantages of formal approaches is that they help us to understand these issues precisely and to form normative generalizations that are difficult to obtain in view of traditional methods (such as, for example, historical case studies). Nevertheless, models frequently come with a high degree of idealization and simplification, which may impede their relevance for actual scientific practice. This poses the question, to which extent formal models can be used to provide an understanding of scientific inquiry, and to which extent they can be improved with respect to their relevance for science policy.

The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars working on different approaches to the formal modeling of scientific inquiry to discuss both different types of formal models and the prospects and limits of their usefulness for philosophy of science, social epistemology and science policy. We invite contributions on these and related issues, including:

Keynote speakers

Abstract submission

Authors are invited to submit an extended abstract (500-1000 words) related to the above questions to the EasyChair account by April 1, 2017.

Extended abstracts should be submitted as an attached PDF file. Please also provide a short abstract of up to 100 words.

An application for a special issue with the conference post-proceedings will be submitted to an internationally recognized journal (details TBA).

Important dates

  • submission deadline: April 1, 2017
  • notifications: May 1, 2017
  • workshop: July 18-19, 2017

Venue and how to get there

Getting from Bochum Hauptbahnhof to the Ruhr-University Bochum

From Bochum Hauptbahnhof (central station) take the U35 towards Bochum Querenburg (Hustadt) and get out at stop “Ruhr Universität”. (Ticket needed: Preisstufe A, €2,70). On weekdays the subway U35 leaves every 5 minutes and reaches the university within 9 minutes.

Getting from the U-Bahn stop “Ruhr Universität” to Beckmanns Hof

The workshop will take place at Beckmanns Hof, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany. Beckmanns Hof is located on Campus behind the Mensa. A map of the campus can be found here: campus map.

From the train station of the U35 (“Ruhr-Universität”) go up the pedestrian bridge, turn right from the exit and walk towards the university. Your route takes you directly to the building of the university library. Keep walking till you pass the University library on your right, and continue until you reach the University “Mensa” building. Pass by the “Mensa” by walking down stairs, cross a campus street and a parking lot, and further walk down to the Beckmanns Hof.

Travel recommendations for long-distance and air travellers

Bochum Hauptbahnhof (central station) is served by ICE, IC, EC, regional and suburban trains at a high frequency. From there, you can reach the University easily by taking underground line U35 straight to the stop Ruhr-Universität. Four airports - Dortmund, Münster/Osnabrück, Cologne/Bonn and Düsseldorf - are within a reasonable distance of the Ruhr-Universität. Düsseldorf Airport, however, is not only the largest, but also the most easily accessed: there are direct connections between the airport and Bochum’s main train station up to eight times per hour, and the journey only takes a good half an hour.

Getting from Düsseldorf Airport to Bochum Hauptbahnhof

Upon arriving at the airport follow the signs to the DB (Deutsche Bahn) train station. Buy your train ticket to Bochum (Ticket needed: Preisstufe D, €15,00) at the airport before boarding the monorail which takes you to the train station. There are trains travelling directly to Bochum Hauptbahnhof frequently and the trip takes about 35 to 45 minutes depending on which train you take. The ticket Preisstufe D is a ticket provided by the public transportation system VRR and it is only valid in regional trains and S-Bahn. If you take an ICE, IC or EC you need a more expensive ticket for long-distant trains.

Getting from Dortmund Airport to Bochum Hauptbahnhof

Take the shuttle bus from the Airport Terminal to Holzwickede train station. From Holzwickede you take the train to Dortmund Hauptbahnhof (central station) and then change trains to Bochum Hauptbahnhof.


Since both the city centre and the conference venues are easy to reach from there, we advise you to take a hotel close to Bochum Hauptbahnhof.

Program and Book of Abstract


Program Committee


For any queries please contact us at:


The conference is organised by the Research Group on Non-monotonic Logic and Formal Argumentation at the Faculty for Philosophy II, Ruhr-University Bochum.

The conference is supported by the Sofja Kovalevkaja award of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research) and by the Ruhr University Research School PLUS (funded by Germany’s Excellence Initiative [DFG GSC 98/3]).

Author: Research Group for Non-Monotonic Logics and Formal Argumentation

Created: 2017-04-07 Fri 10:15