Computer simulations have become a central tool for scientific practice. Their use has replaced, in many cases, standard experimental procedures. This goes without mentioning cases where the target system is empirical but there are no techniques for direct manipulation of the system, such as astronomical observation. To these cases, computer simulations have proved to be of central importance. The question about their use and implementation, therefore, is not only a technical one but represents a challenge for the humanities as well. In this volume, scientists, historians, and philosophers join to examine computer simulations in scientific practice. One central aim of the volume is to provide a multi-perspective view on the topic. Therefore, the text includes philosophical studies on computer simulations, as well as case studies from simulation practice, and historical studies of the evolution of simulations as a research method. The theoretical studies in this book discuss the epistemological relation between simulations and experiments as well as the empirical or non-empirical status of data resulting from computer simulations. The role of simulations in current scientific practice is examined in the cases of astronomy, system biology, nanoscale research, and in the pharmaceutical industry. The historical perspective is brought in by examining the rise of supercomputing as well as the exploding number of published simulation studies in some scientific fields. The book concludes with critical reflections on the potential, limitations, and failures of computer simulations.
|Publisher||Cambridge Scholars Publishing|
|Rating||4/5 (51 users)|