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Michael Weisberg

Professor and Chair of Philosophy

Editor-in-Chief, Biology and Philosophy

Co-Director of the Penn Laboratory for Understanding Science

Co-Director of the Galápagos Education and Research Alliance

Ph.D. Stanford University

Michael Weisberg is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Biology and Philosophy and co-director of the Penn Laboratory for Understanding Science and the Galápagos Education and Research Alliance. Since coming to Penn in 2003, he has served as chairman of the graduate group in Philosophy and co-chair of Penn’s Year of Evolution. Dr. Weisberg received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego in 1999, and continued graduate study in Philosophy and Evolutionary Biology at Stanford University, earning a 2003 Ph.D. in Philosophy. His research focuses on methodological issues arising in the life and social sciences, especially the ways that highly idealized models and simulations can be used to understand complex systems. Dr. Weisberg’s research group also aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of public understanding and misconceptions of scientific issues. His group has recently completed the most comprehensive study to date of North Americans’ attitudes about and knowledge of evolutionary biology, and is working with experimental documentary filmmaking techniques to help address common misconceptions. Dr. Weisberg also co-leads several community science and community conservation initiatives in the Galápagos archipelago. He regular discusses his findings with academic audiences, policy makers, and the public including audiences at the Penn Lightbulb Café, BBC’s “Up All Night,” the AAAS, the National Academy of Sciences, and with park officials, naturalist guides, and tourists in the Galápagos.

Research Interests

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Philosophy of Chemistry
  • Public Understanding of Science
  • Community Science

Selected Publications

Find me on PhilPapers: http://philpapers.org/profile/81

Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World, 2013, Oxford University Press.

Galápagos: Life in Motion, forthcoming 2018, Princeton Unviersity Press (with Walter Perez)

"Three Kinds of Idealization," The Journal of Philosophy, 104 (12) 639-59.

“Robustness Analysis,”Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Science, 73, 730–742.

“Who is a Modeler?”, British Journal for Philosophy of Science, 58, 207–233.

(215) 898-0417

421 Cohen Hall

by appointment