4 March 2022 3pm

Luca Guzzardi – Università degli studi di Milano

On line seminar - to register, please send an email to silvia.debianchi@unimi.it


This video is part of the PROTEUS project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 758145)


According to standard accounts of collaborative scientific research,  collaboration is usually viewed as just an example that demonstrates how social interaction may impinge on the epistemic process. This paper contributes evidence to the opposite idea — namely, that social behavior can result from epistemic conditions. I will explore two case studies from recent astrophysics in which researchers have collaborated or are collaborating because of strong epistemic requirements: (1) the Event Horizon Telescope project that in April 2019 has first imaged the shadow of the event horizon of a supermassive black hole and (2) the multi-messenger astrophysics combining information from various “messenger” signals to investigate their sources. I will argue that in these cases — for which I use the label of “epistemically constrained collaboration” — the collaborative approach is motivated and driven by the specific features of the researched objects (according to some theory) and the methods of inquiry applied.