Workshop announcement: Error in Experimental Science University of Haifa, Israel, 8-9 May 2005 (With the support of the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development)

Like any goal-oriented procedure, experiment is ensnared by errors. The errors that waylay the experimenter are of many kinds. They have a variety of features, depending on the particulars of their sources. For the experimenter, these pitfalls should be avoided, and their effects minimized. For the historian-philosopher of science, on the other hand, they are instructive points of reflection on science in general and scientific practice in particular.

The identification of error, its source, its context and its treatment shed light on both knowledge and practices. Understanding an error amounts, inter alia, to uncovering the knowledge generating features of the system involved – the very features that are the object of study of the historian-philosopher when it comes to systems that evolve in scientific practice. The workshop brings together historical and philosophical perspectives on this aspect of experimental science.

Program: Sunday, May 8 – Giora Hon, Haifa: Introduction – Uljana Feest, Berlin: Experimental artifacts and the production of psychological knowledge – Lambert Williams, Berlin: Complexity, error and the culture of computing – Thomas Dohmen, Haifa: Contextual factors in deriving knowledge from experiments – Galina Granek, Haifa: How was Scanning Tunneling Microscopy invented? Human inventiveness versus technological problems and errors – Yaakov Zik, Haifa: Experimental science – a forgotten chapter of sixteenth century optics and its material culture

Monday, May 9 – Shimon Marom and Erez Braun, Haifa: Experimental researches at the Technion (Includes a guided tour through the laboratories at the Technion: neural networks and artificial evolutionary processes) – Igal Dotan, Berlin: Background Knowledge and experimental errors – Jutta Schickore, Bloomington, IN: The infamous globule hypothesis – Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Bloomington, IN: Malpighi’s notion of disease

For further information please contact Giora Hon ([email protected])