This project explores the diverging judgements of evidential support within the debate between two rival explanations for the mechanism of primary odor recognition. By addressing an underexplored, unresolved contemporary case study of conflicting research programs, it offers a new perspective on questions about what counts as evidence for (or against) a theory. Issues addressed will include: the different strategies of modeling facts, problems of measurement, and the impact of scientific discoveries and advancements in technology on theory development. Providing an epistemic history of recent disciplinary trajectories in olfaction, the wider aim is to develop flexible conceptual tools for theory assessment.
Ann-Sophie Barwich obtained her MA at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Philosophy and German Literature Studies. She currently finishes her PhD in philosophy at the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (University of Exeter). Her work addresses classifications and model thinking in olfaction theory and concerns pluralist arguments for scientific realism.