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Center Discussion Group

Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week). 1:30–3:00 pm
Meeting place: Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science library, 737 Heller Hall

The Center discussion group (CtrDG) reads and discusses works of mutual interest in the philosophy of science, broadly construed. We have a tradition of reading works of important authors and then having them visit to discuss their work with the discussion group. Recent CtrDG visitors have included William C Wimsatt, John Dupré, Jim Woodward, Nancy Cartwright, and Bas van Fraassen each of whose work we read during a semester preceding their separate visits.

Colleagues from area schools and fields outside philosophy regularly participate in our discussions. We continue to seek new participants. All faculty from the University of Minnesota and area colleges and universities are welcome to attend whenever they would like (and without invitation). Postdoctoral fellows and advanced PhD students (those who have completed all but their dissertations) are also welcome to attend. Other graduate students are included under special circumstances.

For further information contact Alan Love ( or Janet McKernan, Center Administrator (746 Heller Hall, 612-625-6635,

Spring 2017

The Center Discussion Group will spend the spring semester examining reproducibility in the sciences. (A future semester will focus on reproducibility in the psychological sciences more specifically.)

January 20: Ioannidis, J.P. 2005. Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Medicine 2:e124 (pdf)

February 3: Goodman, S.N., D. Fanelli, and J.P.A. Ioannidis. 2016. What does research reproducibility mean? Science Translational Medicine 8:341ps312 (pdf)

February 17: Nosek BA, Errington TM. 2017. Making sense of replications. eLife 6:e23383. (;
Mantis C, Kandela I, Aird F. 2017. Replication Study: Coadministration of a tumor-penetrating peptide enhances the efficacy of cancer drugs. eLife 6:e17584. (;
Kaiser J. 2017. Mixed results from cancer replications unsettle field. Science 355:234-5. (;
Baker, M. and E. Dolgin. 2017. Cancer reproducibility project releases first results. Nature 541:269–270. (

March 3: Mitchell, J. 2014. On the emptiness of failed replications. (; Fiske, S.T. in press. Mob rule or wisdom of crowds? APS Observer; Gelman, A. 2016. What has happened down here is the winds have changed (

March 10: No meeting

March 17: No meeting

April 7: Fidler, F., Y.E. Chee, B.C. Wintle, M.A. Burgman, M.A. McCarthy, and A. Gordon. 2017. "Metaresearch for Evaluating Reproducibility in Ecology and Evolution". BioScience 67:282–289. (pdf);
Parker, T.H., W. Forstmeier, J. Koricheva, F. Fidler, J.D. Hadfield, Y.E. Chee, C.D. Kelly, J. Gurevitch, and S. Nakagawa. 2016. "Transparency in Ecology and Evolution: Real Problems, Real Solutions". Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31:711–719. (pdf)

April 14: Feulner, G. 2016. Science under Societal Scrutiny: Reproducibility in Climate Science. In: Reproducibility: Principles, Problems, Practices, and Prospects, H. Atmanspacher and S. Maasen (eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 269–285. (pdf)

April 28: Anderson, M.L. 2016. Neural Reuse and In-Principle Limitations on Reproducibility in Cognitive Neuroscience. In: Reproducibility: Principles, Problems, Practices, and Prospects, H. Atmanspacher and S. Maasen (eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 341–362. (pdf)

Fall 2016

This semester the Center Discussion Group will be reading Margaret Morrison's 2015 book "Reconstructing Reality; Models, mathematics, and simulations" New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199380275.

September 9: Chapter 1, pp 15–49.

September 23: Chapter 2, pp 50–82.

October 7: Chapter 3, pp 85–118.

October 21: Chapter 4, pp. 119–155.

November 11: Chapter 5, pp 156–195.
Margaret Morrison will be visiting.

December 2: Chapter 6, pp 197–247.


Previous Center Discussion Group topics

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