This is an AHRC-funded project, which runs from August 2014 to January 2018, based at Durham University (UK) and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (USA). It follows on directly from an AHRC ‘Science in Culture Exploratory Award’ pilot project which ran from February-September 2012.
Led by Dr Peter Vickers (PI) and Dr Timothy Lyons, the basic aim of the project is to make a step-change contribution to assessing the validity of selective scientific realism by amassing a large amount of relevant ‘data’ (loosely speaking) from the history of science, and bringing that data to bear upon selective scientific realist positions. Major objectives along the way will then be:
(i) to develop new, detailed historical case studies relevant to the debate, especially (a)-(j) as given in the "About" page;
(ii) to investigate how these cases bear on different variations of selective scientific realism as detailed in the literature;
(iii) to investigate possible adjustments to the current selective realist positions warranted by the new case studies (including an adjustment sketched as part of the pilot project);
(iv) to investigate the circumstances in which a theory has been sufficiently successful to merit realist commitment;
(v) to determine the prospects for prospective identification of the success-fuelling constituents of a theory, including a development of the approaches introduced in Lyons (2006, 2009b) and Vickers (2013b).