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Astrochemistry is a young discipline, which started with the unexpected detection of molecules in the interstellar medium in the 1940’s. Astrochemical models aim at describing the physicochemical processes explaining the composition in the interstellar medium or of planetary atmospheres, despite the fact that the models and the observations against which they must be validated are highly uncertain. These uncertainties, the multiplicity of tasks that models must fill, their different phases of development—from young models that need improvement to mature ones, ready to get confronted to observations—, the strong interdisciplinarity of the field make astrochemistry unique in terms of the challenges that astrochemists must face in evaluating the reliability of their models. Such an exceptional epistemic situation represents a huge opportunity for philosophers both to refine their understanding of model evaluation and to contribute to developing new methods for assessing the adequacy of a model. The goal of this seminar is both to present these challenges and to generate a discussion between philosophers and astrochemists about these topics.


Jan Cami (Western University, Department of Physics & Astronomy)

Ilsa Cooke (University of British Columbia, Department of Chemistry)

Benjamin Desrousseaux (University of Rennes, Institut de Physique de Rennes)

Marie Gueguen (University of Rennes, Institut de Physique de Rennes)

Els Peeters (Western University, Department of Physics & Astronomy)


1:30 – 1:50 pm Marie Gueguen
1:50 – 2:10 pm Ilsa Cooke
2:10 – 2:30 pm Jan Cami
2:30 – 2:50 pm COFFEE BREAK
2:50 – 3:10 pm Benjamin Desrousseaux
3:10 – 3:30 pm Els Peeters
3:30 – 4:30 pm Panel Discussion
Register to Attend

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

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