May 2019


When we introduced our Fellows in our little riddle, we also raised the question “why”. It was meant in a double sense: Why did you choose your field? And why do your think your research matters? Well, our philosopher of biology Chiara has already answered the first “why” question in our feature 33 questions. But we wanted to give her some more space to share her thoughts about the second “why” question – which is, we think, very important in a world where the relevance of research and science for society’s flourishing sometimes is doubted…So let’s take a look at Chiara’s thoughts:

Indirect But Nonetheless Important: The Impact of Research in Philosophy of Biology

Disciplines like philosophy of biology tend to have very indirect, but at the same time very broad impact on the real world. Technically everything I look at has little immediate empirical relevance, as philosophers deal mostly with theoretical aspects of science. However, as I said before, changes in theories can have extremely powerful long-term impact on the way we look at the world, and on how we conduct empirical and applied research.