European Philosophy of Science Association 

Spotlight on Research: Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science – LSE CPNSS

Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science – LSE CPNSS


by Roman Frigg


Roman Frigg is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Director of the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) al LSE


Presentation and History


The Centre for Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) was established in 1990. It is works in close collaboration with LSE’s Department of Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, but it is an independent institute with its own governing structure. It aims to promote research into philosophical, methodological and foundational questions arising in the natural and the social sciences, as well as their application to practical problems. The Centre seeks to achieve this aim by supporting interdisciplinary and inter-institutional endeavours of different kinds and maintaining international collaborations and partnerships.


Research Activities


The Centre is home to twelve active research projects, and it hosts a number of individual research initiatives. The selection of topics is deliberately broad in order to address a wide spectrum of issues. The various projects cover philosophy of physics, social and rational choice, philosophy and history of the social sciences, disability and inclusiveness, reasons and agency, uncertainty and evidence based policy, climate change, social welfare, voting power and democracy, and contemporary Darwinism.


The Centre is home to the Sigma Club and the Choice Group; it hosts the regular meetings of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science; and jointly with the Department it organises the Popper Seminars. Overall the Centre organises around 100 events a year, where between five and ten of these are conferences and workshops. A number of these lectures are specifically geared towards the general public and serve an outreach and public engagement function. Contact with the wider public is further fostered through a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook (which is run jointly with the Department).


Visiting CPNSS


A Visitors’ Programme gives philosophers of science from all over the world the opportunity to reside in the Centre for a term or an academic year, to participate in existing projects and to pursue their own research. Around 30-40 scholars every year benefit from this opportunity. Information about the visitor’s programme can be found on the CPNSS website.

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