25/11/2021 – Claus Beisbart: How can cosmological simulations shown to be credible? Perspectives from the literature on validation and verification


How credible are simulation results, in particular in cosmology where data is sparse? The last decade has seen intensified attempts to clarify the evaluation of simulations quite generally. In particular, researchers from disciplines such as fluid dynamics and engineering distinguish between validation and verification and try to make both methods more rigorous. But does their approach make sense in cosmology? The aim of this talk is to compare current practice in cosmology with the demands of simulation assessment in engineering. I argue that these demands define something like an ideal benchmark, which is difficult to attain though in cosmology. 

Biographical information:

Claus Beisbart is Professor for Philosophy of Science at the University of Bern. He holds both a Ph.D. in physical cosmology and a Ph.D. in philosophy, both from the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich. After positions and fellowships in Oxford, Konstanz, Dortmund and Pittsburgh, he came to Berne in 2012, where he is affiliated not only with the Institute for Philosophy, but also with the Center for Space and Habitability. His main research fields include the philosophy of physics, the epistemology of models and simulations, probabilities and the foundations of ethics. Recent work includes a paper on the opacity of computer simulations.

Meeting information:

  • Thursday the 25th of November, at 15:00 CET (Paris time), at this Zoom link

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