Subscribe to our newsletter
Picture of Computer Simulations and the Changing Face of Scientific Experimentation

Computer Simulations and the Changing Face of Scientific Experimentation

Editor(s): Eckhart Arnold, Juan M. Durán
Contributors: Lucia Ayala, Muniza Rehman, Jaime Forero Romero, Pio Garcia, Terry Shinn Marcovich, Paul Humphreys, Annameria Carusi,

Book Description

Computer simulations have become a central tool for scientific practice. Their use has replaced, in many cases, standard experimental procedures. This goes without mentioning cases where the target system is empirical but there are no techniques for direct manipulation of the system, such as astronomical observation. To these cases, computer simulations have proved to be of central importance. The question about their use and implementation, therefore, is not only a technical one but represents a challenge for the humanities as well.

In this volume, scientists, historians, and philosophers join to examine computer simulations in scientific practice. One central aim of the volume is to provide a multi-perspective view on the topic. Therefore, the text includes philosophical studies on computer simulations, as well as case studies from simulation practice, and historical studies of the evolution of simulations as a research method.

The theoretical studies in this book discuss the epistemological relation between simulations and experiments as well as the empirical or non-empirical status of data resulting from computer simulations. The role of simulations in current scientific practice is examined in the cases of astronomy, system biology, nanoscale research, and in the pharmaceutical industry. The historical perspective is brought in by examining the rise of supercomputing as well as the exploding number of published simulation studies in some scientific fields. The book concludes with critical reflections on the potential, limitations, and failures of computer simulations.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4792-6
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4792-5
Date of Publication: 01/07/2013
Pages / Size: 260 / A5
Price: £44.99


Juan M. Durán holds a BSc in Computer Science and a BA and an MA in Philosophy, both from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. In 2009, he joined the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Stuttgart and the Stuttgart Research Center for Simulation Technology (SRC SimTech) as a research assistant. In recent years, he has visited and studied at different universities, including the University of Virginia and the Tilburg Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science. He is currently finishing his PhD on the explanatory value of computer simulations at the University of Stuttgart and at SRC SimTech.

Eckhart Arnold has studied Political Science, Public Law and Philosophy in Bonn. After working for several years in the development of E-learning methods in Public Policy teaching, he completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Düsseldorf with a study on simulation-based explanations of the emergence of altruism in natural and social evolution. Since his PhD, he has held positions as scientific assistant in the Philosophy and Economics program of the University of Bayreuth, and as Post-Doc in the Stuttgart Research Center for Simulation Technology (SRC SimTech) at the University of Stuttgart. Presently, he works as a lecturer at the University of the Applied Sciences in Coburg.