Lunch-Talk: Simon Lohse & Stefano Canali
11 Nov
11. Nov. 2020 | 12:00 - 13:30

Lunch-Talk: Simon Lohse & Stefano Canali

Interdisciplinary Knowledge Integration in Public Health Policy

In this talk we will explore the potential of, and challenges to, a tighter integration of the social sciences in dealing with public health threats based on the example of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will start with the observation that public health measures and strategies that were meant to manage the pandemic in Europe were almost exclusively informed by the biomedical sciences, in particular epidemiology. Most importantly, the social sciences – with the notable exception of economics – played only a marginal role in dealing with the pandemic. In part II of this talk we will discuss aspects that the social sciences could have brought to the table of evidence-based health policy to motivate a stronger involvement of the social sciences in similar scenarios in the future. In part III we will turn to key challenges to the realisation of such an involvement of the social sciences and to knowledge integration in evidence-based public health policy. We will briefly discuss sociological inhibitors, such as epistemic hierarchies in science and different styles of public engagement of social and biomedical scientists. We will then focus our analysis on important epistemological and methodological challenges for a tighter integration of the social sciences, in particular conceptual questions, uncertainties regarding the evidence base, and problems in modelling and weighting social aspects. As this is work in progress, we will close with a tentative conclusion suggesting normative implications of our discussion.



Simon Lohse is a postdoctoral researcher and speaker of the E2LSI Group at the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (LUH). He studied sociology, educational science, political science and philosophy in Hannover. In 2013 Simon has been a visitor at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the LSE. He holds a PhD in philosophy of science (based on a thesis on anti-reductionism in the social sciences). Simon is primarily interested in epistemic pluralism in the social and life sciences and in questions at the junction of philosophy of science, bioethics and STS in the context of animal-based research in biomedicine.

Website & @si_loh


Stefano Canali is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy (LUH). He studied philosophy at the University of Milan, philosophy of science and science and technology studies at University College London and did his PhD in philosophy of science in Hannover. Stefano's research focuses on the epistemology of data and data-intensive science and the philosophy of medicine and epidemiology.

Website & @stefanocanali_


11. Nov. 2020
12:00 - 13:30