HPS-CAP: History, Philosophy & Sociology of Cosmology & Astroparticle Physics Conference

June 28, 2022 - June 30, 2022
University of Bonn, RWTH Aachen University & University of Wuppertal


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University of Pittsburgh (PhD)
Université paris 1


Aachen University of Technology
Universität Bonn
University of Bonn

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The DFG-funded research unit Epistemology of the LHC is organising a two-day conference on the history, philosophy and sociology of cosmology and astroparticle physics. This event follows up on the 2019 conference in Aachen on dark matter & modified gravity, a special journal issue on the same topic, and the 2021 online workshop on the philosophy of dark matter. The conference will take place on the 29th and 30th of June 2022 in Bonn, Germany. Philosophers, physicists, historians, sociologists and other interested scholars are invited to attend. 

Over the past few decades, cosmology, astronomy and particle physics have developed in different directions and at the same time become intertwined in an increasingly complex way, i.e., in terms of communities, theories, models, experiments, constraints, conferences and journals. Prime examples at the intersection of two or all three of these fields are the search for dark matter, cosmic rays, and neutrino physics. In recent years, various humanities—in particular the trio of history, philosophy & sociology (HPS)—have paid increasing attention to cosmology, astronomy and particle physics (CAP). It is the aim of this HPS-CAP conference to explore the history, philosophy and sociology of the intersection of CAP, as well as the interactions between history, philosophy & sociology of CAP. Research topics include but are not limited to the following:

•The history of the formation of and interaction between the scientific disciplines

•Cosmology, astronomy, particle physics & the scientific realism debate

•Communities across CAP

•Epistemology of experiments, simulation and observation

•The interplay between constraints from cosmology, astronomy and particle physics

•Cosmology and astronomy as historical sciences

•Guiding principles within CAP (cosmological principle, anthropic principle, unification, …)

•Dark matter, neutrinos and cosmic rays

•Searches for “theories of everything”

•Physics of scales (renormalization group methods, multi-scale modeling, inter-theory relationships, emergence and reduction)

•The relationship between the humanities and CAP

See website for further information.

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June 1, 2022, 11:00pm CET

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