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Agnes Bolinska

Teaching Associate in Philosophy of Science

Agnes Bolinska is a Teaching Associate in philosophy of science, and also holds a College Research Associate position at Clare College. She received her PhD (2015) from the University of Toronto and spent the following year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Philosophy of Science. Before coming to Cambridge, she also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the University of Pittsburgh's Department of History and Philosophy of Science.

Agnes's research examines the ways in which concrete and abstract scientific models enable learning about the physical systems they represent. She aims to understand what is distinctive about the kind of representation performed using these models and what makes them effective cognitive aids. She is particularly interested in the roles that different kinds of representations play in contemporary and historical practices of molecular structure determination. Currently, she is engaged in two projects, one examining how models of protein structure produced by different experimental techniques can be integrated to understand protein structure and function, and the other considering how historical case studies should be used to draw normative philosophical conclusions about scientific practice.

Research interests

General philosophy of science (abstraction and idealization, models, simulations, scientific representation, pluralism, heuristics of science); history and philosophy of 20th-century molecular biology; relationship between history of science and philosophy of science


Bolinska, A. & Martin, J. D. (forthcoming) ‘Negotiating history: contingency, canonicity, and case studies’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

Bolinska, A. (2018). 'Synthetic versus analytic approaches to protein and DNA structure determination', Biology and Philosophy 33: 26.

Bolinska, A. (2016). 'Successful visual epistemic representation', Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56: 153–160.

Bolinska, A. (2013). 'Epistemic representation, informativeness and the aim of faithful representation', Synthese 190: 219–34.