17–19 December 2014, Jury's Inn Hotel Exeter

This workshop was the first event in the project ERC project [DATA_SCIENCE], organised by Sabina Leonelli from the Exeter Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences and funded through a European Research Council Starting Grant. It brought together the key participants in the project, with the aim of starting long-term discussions around what constitutes data-intensive science, comparing the ways in which different scholars and fields conceptualise and enact data practices, and agreeing on the set-up, methods and themes to be pursued by the project team and collaborators over the next three years. Speakers presented the specific sciences that they are researching, the methods that they use and the themes that they are interested in exploring.

The workshop is meant to provide an informal occasion for discussion, and therefore didn't showcase full papers, except for the keynote lecture provided by Professor Luciano Floridi. This keynote targeted the intersections between philosophy of science and philosophy of information in ways so as to stimulate data-related discussions.

Participation was free thanks to the generous support of the ERC, but participants were required to attend the whole event and places were limited, assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Invited Participants

Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide), Elena Aronova (MPIWG), Marcel Boumans (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Alberto Cambrosio (McGill University), Luciano Floridi (University of Oxford), James Griesemer (UC Davis), Koray Karaca (University of Wuppertal), Mary Morgan (LSE), Wendy Parker (University of Durham), Eran Tal (University of Cambridge),  Sharon Traweek (UCLA), Sally Wyatt (University of Maastricht and KNAW), Alison Wylie (University of Washington).

Exeter-Based Participants

Louise Bezuidenhout, Jennifer Cuffe, Gail Davies, John Dupré, Gregor Halfmann, Steve Hinchliffe, Susan Kelly, Sabina Leonelli, James Lowe, Staffan Müller-Wille, Brian Rappert, Nick Smirnoff, David Studholme, Niccolò Tempini, Adam Toon.

Workshop Report

A workshop report is available here, or via the Resources section.


Wednesday 17 December

12:30-13:30 Welcome lunch (open to all participants)

13:30-15:00 Introductions and project outline: Sabina Leonelli

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30-17:30 Session 1: Life Sciences. Chair/commentator: John Dupré

  • David Studholme and Nick Smirnoff on data in the plant sciences
  • James Griesemer on tracking life

18:00 Drinks and Pizza night (not subsidised)

Thursday 18 December

9:00 – 10:45 Session 2: Biomedicine. Chair/commentator: Niccolò Tempini

  • Alberto Cambrosio on big data in genomic medicine
  • Susan Kelly on social and ethical dimensions of data sharing
  • Rachel Ankeny on data and case-based reasoning

10:45-11:15 Coffee break

11:30-13:00 Session 3: Physics, astronomy and paleontology. Chair/commentator: Staffan Müller-Wille

  • Sharon Traweek on data practices in contemporary physics and astrophysics
  • Koray Karaca on data modeling in particle physics
  • Eran Tal on making measurement data into evidence

13:00-14:30 Lunch

14:30-16:15 Session 4: Archaeology, climate and environmental science. Chair/commentator: Gregor Halfmann

  • Alison Wylie on data practices in archeology
  • Elena Aronova on the history of data collection in environmental science
  • Wendy Parker on data and modeling in climate science

16:15-16:45 Coffee break

16:45-18:30 Session 5: Social sciences. Chair/commentator: Gail Davies

  • Steve Hinchliffe on big data in the social sciences
  • Mary Morgan on data in the history of economics
  • Marcel Boumans on data-intensive economics
  • Sally Wyatt on data and Science Technology Studies

19:00 Conference dinner at Las Iguanas (speakers and chairs only)

Friday 19 December

9:00-10:30 Keynote lecture by Luciano Floridi on data and information. Chair: Sabina Leonelli

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:30 Discussion 1: Core themes in the epistemology of data-intensive science. Chair: Sabina Leonelli

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30–15:00 Discussion 2: Methodological strategies for comparison. Chair: Brian Rappert.

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 16:30 Closing session: Next steps. Chair: Sabina Leonelli.