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Rune Nyrup

Research Fellow

I am philosopher of science, working at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and the Department of HPS. Before coming to Cambridge, I finished a PhD at Durham University.

My research looks at the role of different kinds of reasoning in science (e.g. analogical, explanatory, diagnostic) and how values can and should influence scientific research. I am especially interested in reasoning related to pursuitworthiness, i.e., reasoning about which hypotheses or models to prioritise for further testing and development. Although I am interested in how these questions play out across the sciences, I have particular interests in the philosophy of archaeology, artificial intelligence and medicine.

At CFI, I am currently looking at ethical and epistemic issues arising when AI systems are used to automate decision making. Many commentators have worried that such systems risk making biased or value-laden decisions in ways that are opaque or unexplainable to humans. My research seeks to analyse and explicate these complaints. I am interested in what kinds of 'transparency' and 'explainability' are relevant in this context and how these can help manage bias and value-ladenness in automated decision making.


'Of Water Drops and Atomic Nuclei: Analogies and Pursuit Worthiness in Science', accepted at British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

'Strategies in Abduction: Generating and Selecting Diagnostic Hypotheses' [with Donald Stanley], accepted at Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

'How Explanatory Reasoning Justifies Pursuit: A Peircean View of IBE', Philosophy of Science 82(5): 749–760.