University of Vienna, Institute Vienna Circle - "Scientific World Conceptions" summer school

February 15, 2022

Opportunity begins:

Jul 04, 2022

Opportunity ends:

Jul 15, 2022

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Location (s):

  • Austria


Since 2001 the University of Vienna and the Institute Vienna Circle holds an annual two-week summer program dedicated to major current issues in the natural and the social sciences, their history and philosophy. The title of the program reflects the heritage of the Vienna Circle which promoted interdisciplinary and philosophical investigations based on solid disciplinary knowledge. As an international interdisciplinary program, USS-SWC brings graduate students in close contact with world-renowned scholars. It operates under the academic supervision of an International Program Committee of distinguished philosophers, historians, and scientists.


The schedule consists of morning sessions, chaired by distinguished lecturers which focus on readings assigned to students in advance. Afternoon sessions are made up of smaller groups which offer senior students the opportunity to discuss their own research papers with one of the main lecturers.

Representation in Art and Science

The "two cultures" meme encourages a picture of art and science as opposites, and as sharing so little in common that it is difficult to "bridge" a deep gap between them. In fact, however, the arts and the sciences share many of the same representational tools, and exploit many of the same cognitive processes responsible for the working of those representational tools. This two-week workshop explores what can be learned about the arts and the sciences through an examination of their common languages, practices, and methodologies. Topics to be covered include: depiction, fiction and imagination, narrative, metaphor and analogy, and aesthetic value in science and the arts. Drawing on historical and contemporary approaches, we will examine the epistemic role of these phenomena in the sciences and also to their role in presenting scientific results.

Topics will include: 

  • art and science - two cultures?
  • theories of depiction and images in science
  • theories of fiction and models as fictions
  • aesthetic value in science
  • metaphor in science
  • imagination in art and science 


  • Chiara Ambrosio (University College London)
  • Angela Breitenbach (University of Cambridge) 
  • Dominic McIver Lopes (University of British Columbia) 

International Program Committee

  • John Beatty (Vancouver)
  • Maria Carla Galavotti (Bologna)
  • Malachi Hacohen (Durham/Raleigh)
  • Michael Heidelberger (Tübingen)
  • Martin Kusch (Vienna)
  • Paolo Mancosu (Berkeley)
  • Elisabeth Nemeth (Vienna)
  • Miklós Rédei (London)
  • Friedrich Stadler (Vienna)
  • Michael Stöltzner (Columbia)
  • Roger H. Stuewer (Minneapolis)
  • Thomas Uebel (Manchester)

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

The program is directed primarily to graduate students and junior researchers in fields related to the annual topic, but the organizers also encourage applications from gifted undergraduates and from people in all stages of their career who wish to broaden their horizon through cross-disciplinary studies of methodological and foundational issues in science.


Deadline: February 15, 2022

Program Starts: July 04, 2022

Program Ends: July 15, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

  • Cost of the Program: Euro 880.00 (Lodging in students dormitories available at approximately Euro 465.00 for the whole duration of the course.)
  • The administration of USS-SWC at the University of Vienna can assist the candidates admitted in applying for funds and in the accreditation of the course, but unfortunately, cannot offer financial assistence. However, for a few gifted applicants who can demonstrate that, despite serious documented efforts, they have not been able to obtain any financial support, in particular due to economic difficulties in their respective country, a tuition-waver grant, awarded by the Institute Vienna Circle and the University of Vienna, will be provided.
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