Professors Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter) and John Symons (University of Kansas) on data inequity, management of biological data sets, and epistemological challenges of software error.
Results: This event brought together our main discussion in the Sawyer Seminar of the “post-human” future, when algorithms and computers may come to make discoveries in science that are in many ways “inexplicable” to humans. These philosophical concerns were balanced by a report on actual data base use by Leonelli, who has large ERC project DATA_SCIENCE, “The Epistemology of Data-Intensive Science”. Leonelli stressed the idea of “nurturing” and caring for databases over time, confronting the neo-Humean idea of “Big Data” with the reality that in fact conceptual shaping of data sets, questions, and their use from many alternative epistemological sites is a fact of life in our world of “Big” Data.
We are grateful to BU's Center for the Philosophy of Science for Co-Sponsoring this Event.