Thursday, January 07, 2016

Assessing the present situation
The German Research Foundation DFG will fund a new Research Unit whose aim it is to investigate the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN from an integrated philosophical, historical and sociological perspective, in close collaboration with theoretical and experimental particle physicists. The overall funding volume will be 2.5 million euros for an initial three years, with the possibility to extend the project for another three years. Under the common perspective of unification, foundational change, and complexity, the Research Unit’s six projects will investigate (i) the formation and development of the concept of virtual particles, (ii) the hierarchy, fine tuning, and naturalness problems, (iii) the relationship between the LHC and gravity, (iv) the impact of computer simulations on the epistemic status of LHC data, (v) model building and dynamics, and (vi) the strategies of producing novelty and securing credibility at LHC.

The collaboration’s center will be the University of Wuppertal in Germany with philosopher of science Gregor Schiemann as spokesperson; the Principal Investigators of the six interconnected projects are Robert Harlander (Physics, RWTH Aachen), Rafaela Hillerbrand (Philosophy, KIT Karlsruhe), Michael Krämer (Physics, RWTH Aachen), Dennis Lehmkuhl (History and Philosophy of Science, Caltech), Peter Mättig (Physics, Wuppertal), Martina Merz (Science Studies, AAU Klagenfurt), Gregor Schiemann (Philosophy, Wuppertal), Erhard Scholz (Mathematics, Wuppertal), Friedrich Steinle (History of Science, TU Berlin), Michael Stöltzner (Philosophy, University of South Carolina), Adrian Wüthrich (History of Science, TU Berlin) and Christian Zeitnitz (Physics, Wuppertal).
As I said, I rarely get sick, so when I do I don't really know how to cope. I don't mean that my delicate self is overwhelmed by it, just that I don't have a very good sense of what "sick" is. Am I about to die or do I just have a little cold? Mostly kidding. I know I just have a little cold, nothing worse, but I still have a hard time assessing it.
Maybe he should look for funding for a Research Unit.
"The paradox arises from the fact that, until you’ve been sick, you cannot know what it will be like. And moreover, the experience may change you in ways that you cannot predict or even understand before you were sick."
The above is adapted just slightly from Laurie Paul.

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