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What is the nature of causality and evidence in pharmacology? On what grounds is causal assessment licensed in pharmacology? Do current evidence standards do justice to the purpose of risk prevention and safety? These are some of the questions behind the ERC-funded project Philosophy of Pharmacology: Safety, Statistical Standards, and Evidence amalgamation. The project has three objectives:
  1. To provide a foundational analysis on statistical/causal inference with a focus on the critical assessment of current practices in drug approval and pharmacosurveillance.
  2. To build a unified epistemic framework within which different kinds of evidence for pharmaceutical harm can be combined and used for decision: evidence amalgamation.
  3. To provide a theoretical framework for the development of new standards of drug evaluation.
The project is interdisciplinary and applies methods from the philosophy of science, in particular from the theory of causality and from the foundations of statistics, to pharmacology.

CfP: SI on Evidence Amalgamation

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Samuel C. Fletcher, Jürgen Landes & Roland Poellinger are guest-editing a special issue on “Evidence Amalgamation in the Sciences” with Synthese. To submit a manuscript login into Synthese’s editorial manager before 15.FEB.2017 and choose to submit to this special issue. Here’s the call

Amalgamating evidence from heterogeneous sources and across levels of enquiry is becoming increasingly important in many pure and applied sciences. “Systems approaches” play major roles in a number of (social) sciences, e.g., biology, ecology, medicine, sociology, geography, climate science and economics. The amalgamation of different models, scales, and types of data continues to be central in these sciences.

This proposed special issue provides a forum for researchers from diverse scientific and philosophical perspectives to discuss evidence amalgamation, its methodologies, its history, its pitfalls and its potential. In particular, we encourage critical analysis of past and current practice highlighting inadequacies and advances.
We are calling for contributions which address normative, historical and descriptive aspects of evidence amalgamation in the (social) sciences. Specific areas of interest include (but are not limited to):
  • Commonalities and differences of methodologies for amalgamation across different sciences.
  • The roles of models and mechanisms in evidence amalgamation.
  • Normative – epistemological and ethical – issues concerning the amalgamation of evidence.
  • Basic issues in the philosophy of science relevant to evidence amalgamation such as: unification, justification, explanation, coherence, reductionism, incommensurability, inductive methods, and causal inference.
  • Decision and policy-making with large heterogeneous bodies of evidence.
  • Methodology of meta-analysis and systematic reviews.
  • Foundational issues of data integration and fusion within and across disciplines.

To discuss a possible contribution drop an email to the guest-editor of your choice.

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Today, the American Institute of Physics published a proceedings volume containing a contribution by Jürgen Landes and Jon Williamson.  In which they investigate an objective Bayesian approach to evidence amalgamation: Doi: 10.1063/1.4959048 (Open Access). See our Writings page for the full citation.

Review Published

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Juergen Landes published a short review of a monograph on the mathematical foundations of probabilistic inference.

Research Seminar Presentation

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27.06.2016: Juergen Landes presented within the Research Seminar Series on Foundations of Statistics on an objective Bayesian approach to evidence amalgamation via data integration (joint work with Jon Williamson).

Presentation at the Formal Epistemology Workshop 2016

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21.06.2016: Juergen Landes presented at the Formal Epistemology Workshop 2016 a paper on the epistemic foundations of probabilistic inference. The title of the talk was: “Invariant Equivocation”. The talk was based on an Erkenntnis paper by Juergen Landes and George Masterton with the same title.

Conference MuST 9

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MuST 9: Evidence, Inference, and Risk Munich: 31 March – 2 April 2016.

Presentations by the project members:

Juergen Landes on “A Multi-Criterial Approach to Amalgamating Evidence”
Barbara Osimani on “Causal Inference in Pharmacology: towards a Framework for Evidence Amalgamation”
Roland Poellinger on “Confirmation via In Silico Simulation”.

The conference was co-organised by Barbara Osimani and co-sponsored by the ERC-Grant 639276.

Presentation at the Entropy Workshop

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15.02.2016: Juergen Landes presented at the Entropy Workshop in Ludwigsburg, 2016 on “Objective Bayesian Nets from Consistent Datasets: Theory and Implementation”.