Research

Overview of research

History & Philosophy of Science image

The Centre for HPS encompasses a vigorous research culture, in which both individual and collaborative projects are supported by a strong spirit of collegiality.  Particularly distinctive of Leeds is the close interaction between historical and philosophical scholarship, which yields valuable critical and historiographical insights. 

Research in the Centre embraces many aspects of the history of science, technology, and medicine, from the seventeenth century to the present day. The Centre is also at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of science, including structural realism, the nature and role of models in science, the nature of scientific representation, and integrated HPS. It is also home to a new and rapidly developing Museum of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

For individual research interests and expertise, please use the 'People' tab above, which provides staff and postgraduate profiles summarising individual research interests.

Follow the links for more information about research projects, research collaborations, and recent publications.

History of Science

Current research embraces many aspects of the social and cultural history of science, technology, and medicine from the seventeenth century to the present day. Particularly prominent research themes in recent years have included intellectual property in relation to science and technology, the history and philosophy of evolutionary biology and genetics, the history of science communication, natural theology and theologies of nature, and the history of childbirth.

Since 2007 the Centre has established a Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, and it is actively engaged with several university departments in conserving and enhancing the scientific heritage of the university. Postgraduate students, on both MA and PhD programmes, play a leading role in the museum.  The Centre has recently appointed a director to develop this important project further.

Philosophy of Science

Leeds is at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of science, including the realism-antirealism debate, truth and scientific explanation, the role of mathematics in science, and the nature of scientific models and of scientific representation.  It is also a leading centre for philosophy of physics, with significant connections to recent work in both metaphysics and the history of physics. Research in this field covers metaphysical issues in quantum theory, particularly to do with identity and individuality of quantum objects, the substantivalist-relationist debate in space-time physics, and the inter-relationships between physics and metaphysics in general. Innovative work is also being done in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of the human sciences, the history of medicine and the history of the philosophy of science.