At the next Vossius Seminar Elena Castellani (University of Florence) and Alesia Zuccala (University of Copenhagen) will present their research.
Scientific methodology and fundamental physics: the case of early string theory
Today's theoretical developments in fundamental physics mostly concern regimes (energy scales or length scales) far away current possibility of empirical access. Nevertheless, many of these developments - such as, first of all, those included in the string theoretical framework - have attained a high degree of trust among part of the scientific community. This has raised a lively debate on whether this trust is justified, and, in case, on what basis. For some people, the extent to which empirically still unconfirmed theories are trusted today indicates a substantial change in scientific methodology. The criticism is that in these cases the assessed scientific way of proceeding and reasoning is not respected.
This talk is devoted to discussing the question as to whether the methodology followed in building/assessing string theory can be considered 'scientific' in the same sense, say, that the methodology followed in building/assessing the Standard Model of particle physics is scientific. Its aim is to present arguments for a positive answer to this question, by relying on a historical analysis of the early developments of string theory.
A History of 'Biblio'-metrics (Books) and Peer Review in the Humanities
Abstract will follow.