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This workshop explores the philosophy of understanding, especially in the light of complex scientific phenomena, technological innovations such as quantum and AI, and science communication. It will address the nature and scope of both expert and public understanding of science and technology. This project was made possible with funding from the Institute for Advanced Study, the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, and the Quantum Delta Netherlands growth fund program.
Event details of Understanding Science and Technology: From Fundamental Science to Technology, Quantum and Society
3 April 2024
12:30 -17:00

Science seeks to explain and to understand. But what does such understanding entail? How does understanding differ between contexts and actors, and whose understanding is relevant in which situations: the understanding of the scientists, the designers of new technologies, the policymakers, or the general public? What kind of understanding do complex phenomena require that might not be achievable by a single scientist? What are the responsibilities of designers of AI with respect to explainability? What kind of understanding of quantum mechanics and quantum technologies should the relevant ethicists and policymakers have?

This workshop seeks to address questions of understanding and explanation in science and technology in the light of the advancement of complex scientific theories, technological innovation, and the need to engage a broader audience with both science and technology. The aim is to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration among researchers and stakeholders who are interested in understanding science and technology from different perspectives.


12:30 Lunch
13:00 Welcome by Huub Dijstelbloem, Director of IAS
13:05 Introduction to the workshop

Speaker: Henk de Regt, response (respondent TBA), and Q&A

Topic: Scientific Understanding and AI


Speakers: Eline de Jong and Sebastian De Haro, response by Aletta Meinsma, and Q&A

Topic: Technological Understanding and Quantum Technology

14:50 Break

Speaker: Federica Malfatti, response (respondent TBA), and Q&A

Topic: Collective Understanding


Speaker: Anne Dijkstra

Topic: Public Understanding of Science and Technology

16:10 Drinks

Due to great interest registration is closed. Please email if you wish to be waitlisted.