Summer School 2016

// MECS // Summer School //  26. – 30. September 2016 //
»On Simulation in Science«


Beside theory and experimentation, computer simulation has become a dominant scientific method in contemporary research. Computational fields have been established in many disciplines and new scientific infrastructures for computational science are well established. Most prominent within these developments stands climate modelling, which has introduced advanced simulations of entire earth systems, allowing comparisons of different scenarios and complex model evaluation strategies in order to tackle questions of uncertainty and to transform simulation into a reliable scientific instrument for in-silico experimentation of preventative actions, as well as projections of future developments should no actions be taken. However, climate simulation is one of many fields using computational power. Since the 1990s those working in the philosophy of science have been engaged in a fruitful discussion on modelling and simulation. A large number of case studies on simulation projects have been carried out, providing detailed insights into the various practices of modelling and simulation. However, what is missing is a historical view on the emergence of computer simulation as well as a comprehensive understanding of how simulations contribute to the progress of knowledge in science, how simulation is framed politically, in the academic field, and how prognoses based on simulations impact upon society, policy, and the economy. Therefore, beside project presentations by the participants, the summer school will provide workshops and lectures in order to address and discuss the following topics:

Workshop & Vorträge

Workshop »The History of Simulation and Computing« by media historian Claus Pias (Lüneburg) and computer historian David A. Grier (Washington).

Workshop »Progress of Knowledge by Simulation« by philosophers of science Axel Gelfert (Singapore) and Gabriele Gramelsberger (Lüneburg).

Workshop »The Prospects of Simulation« by philosophers Petra Gehring (Darmstadt) and Andreas Kaminski (Stuttgart).

Workshop »Science Policy of Simulation« by computer scientists Martin Warnke (Lüneburg) and Michael Resch (Stuttgart).

Vortrag »Simulating Climate« by climate scientist Johann Feichter (Hamburg).

Vortrag »Images of Simulation« by art historian Inge Hinterwaldner (Cambridge).


Petra Gehring Professor of Philosophy | Technische Universität Darmstadt

Axel Gelfert Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science | National University Singapore

David A. Grier Associate Professor of International Science and Technology Policy and International Affairs | The George Washington University, IEEE Editor for History of Computing

Andreas Kaminski Head of Philosophy of Science & Technology | High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS)

Johann Feichter Senior Researcher | Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Hamburg, ETH Zurich

Inge Hinterwaldner SNF Research Fellow | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Ma.

Michael Resch Professor of High Performance Computing | University of Stuttgart, Director of the national High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS)

Claus Pias Professor of Media Theory and History, | Leuphana University Lüneburg, Director of the MECS

Martin Warnke Professor of Digital Media | Leuphana University Lüneburg, Director of the MECS

Gabriele Gramelsberger Senior Researcher in the Philosophy of Computational Sciences | MECS, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Technische Universität Darmstadt

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