From Reasonable Doubt to Undue Scepticism

May 4, 2017 - May 6, 2017
Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College, London University, UK

Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

Keynote speakers:

Karen Douglas
University of Kent
Branden Fitelson
Northeastern University
Larry Laudan
University of Texas, Austin
Stephan Lewandowsky
University of Bristol
Paul Roberts
University of Nottingham
Dan Simon
University of Southern California Gould School of Law


Ulrike Hahn
Birkbeck College, University of London
Marion Vorms
IHPST Paris, Birkbeck

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This conference is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie 'ReaDoubt' project, which examines reasoning and decision-making under uncertainty through the lens of the notion of 'reasonable doubt', taken both as a legal standard of proof, and as a potential norm of reasoning and decision-making more generally.

The conference will bring together scholars from various disciplines (epistemology, psychology, law, statistics) and practicing professionals (lawyers/judges, clinicians, climate scientists, forensic scientists, journalists) concerned with the 'reasonableness' of doubt. The goal is not only to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue, but also to pay particular attention to everyday practice.

This should shed new light on epistemological and psychological questions about the nature and dynamics of belief and action, as well as on difficult judicial issues. Fostering such a dialogue among disciplines, and between researchers and practitioners, should also have implications for currently pressing societal issues such as the role and credentials of experts in democracy, conspiracy theories, science denial, and the epistemology and psychology of the social media — in short, societal concerns rooted in the difficulty of navigating an overwhelming mass of information.

The programme includes keynote papers, contributed papers, as well as a roundtable bringing together practitioners in different domains.

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Keynote speakers
  • Karen Douglas
    (Psychology, University of Kent)

  • Branden Fitelson
    (Philosophy, Northeastern University)

  • Larry Laudan
    (Philosophy & Law, University of Texas at Austin)

  • Stephan Lewandowsky
    (Cognitive Psychology, University of Bristol)

  • Paul Roberts
    (Criminal law, University of Nottingham)

  • Dan Simon
    (Psychology & Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law)

The "practitioners"

Stephen John (chair/moderator)
(Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University)

Alexandra Marks

(Criminal Cases Review Commission)

Chris Rapley

(University College London)

Tom Sheldon

(Science Media Centre)

David James Smith

(Criminal Cases Review Commission)

Programme committee

Anouk Barberousse
(Philosophy, Paris-Sorbonne)

Isabelle Drouet
(Philosophy, Paris-Sorbonne)

Roman Frigg
(Philosophy, London School of Economics)

Ulrike Hahn
(Psychology, Birkbeck College London)

Adam Harris
(Psychology, University College London)

David Lagnado
(Psychology, University College London)

Cheryl Thomas
(Judicial Studies, University College London)

Marion Vorms
(Psychology, Birkbeck College London & Philosophy, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

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April 18, 2017, 5:00pm BST

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