Taking a philosophical approach to better understand science

Recruited from the University of Athens, Stathis Psillos was named Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science at Western's world-renowned Rotman Institute of Philosophy.

 November 14, 2013

 November 14, 2013

Is modern science on the right path? It’s a question that has attracted its share of skeptics throughout the 20th Century, but a new Canada Research Chair at Western University takes a more optimistic view.

Recruited from the University of Athens, Stathis Psillos is a leading philosopher of science who examines aspects of scientific realism – the concept that the world is the way our best scientific theories describe it.

“Understanding the scientific image of the world has long been an integral part of philosophy,” says Psillos, who defends the optimistic view that science unravels the deep, unobservable structures of the world.

“This research can change the ways we view the relationship between science and metaphysics and show how empiricism and realism are necessary to better understand science, its aim and structure.”

This morning, Psillos was named Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science at Western’s world-renowned Rotman Institute of Philosophy, which fosters and supports dialogue and collaboration between philosophers and scientists to bridge the humanities and contemporary sciences.

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor and Robarts Research Institute scientist Stephen Ferguson also had his Tier 1 Canada Research Chair renewed this morning. Ferguson is developing new diagnostic and therapeutic tools that will have important consequences for identifying and treating neurological disease.

The Chairs program has been designed to encourage and promote top research and innovation in universities. Tier 1 Chairs are awarded $200,000 annually for seven years to fund their research and are awarded to outstanding researchers who have developed reputations as world leaders in their fields. Tier 2 Chairholders are awarded $100,000 annually for five years and are recognized as exceptional and emerging researchers with the potential to lead their respective fields.

For more information about the Canada Research Chairs program, please visit

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