Modelling as an Epistemic Activity in Ecology - Eden Smith (University of Melbourne)

Speaker: Eden Smith

In addition to representing knowledge, models function as tools that contribute to generating new knowledge during investigative practices. This knowledge-generating capacity of models has been demonstrated across a range of scientific practices, and forms part of the philosophical view of modelling as an epistemic activity. Meanwhile, discussions around modelling within Ecology highlight the challenges that emerge while building and using models during the production and evaluation of scientific claims. These converging accounts provide different perspectives on the uses of models during investigative practices. Comparing these perspectives offers an opportunity to explore a potential exchange of insights between accounts of epistemic activities articulated by philosophers, and the direct-experience of investigative practices described by scientists. To illustrate this potential, I will share some reflections from an ongoing collaboration with an ecologist (Elliot Gould) exploring the notion that modelling activities function as ways of knowing.

Date & time

Thu 26 May 2022, 2:00pm to 3:30pm


Auditorium, Level 1, RSSS building, 146 Ellery Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601


Eden Smith (University of Melbourne)


Sarita Rosenstock


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