Research

My philosophical research is about scientific methodology, in particular how scientists build mathematical models to acquire knowledge about complex systems in the world, and its relation to policy. Typical questions I am interested in exploring are: How do scientists choose and identify phenomena of interest? What kind of assumptions are used to build models of phenomena, and how are they justified? Do these justifications change depending on whom these models provide information for, and if yes, how?

I use examples from contemporary sciences and their history to answer these questions. My dissertation, for example, draws from case studies in atmospheric science and oceanography to illustrate the challenges that are tied to identifying phenomena, and what kind of assumptions are made in the process of isolating target systems from their environment.

I am also interested in the social and political aspects of climate science, such as issues at the intersection of epistemology, environmental ethics and public policy. At the University of Leeds, for example, I am working with an interdisciplinary research group from the Center for Climate Change Economics and Policy on developing a conceptual framework to analyze the quality of climate information for adaptation. This framework draws on insights from philosophy of science, environmental social science and physical climate science.


Publications

Baldissera Pacchetti, M., Dessai, S., Stainforth, D. A., Bradley, S. (forthcoming). Assessing the quality of state-of-the-art regional climate information: the case of the UK Climate Projections 2018. Climatic Change.

Baldissera Pacchetti, M., S. Dessai, S. Bradley, D. A. Stainforth (2021). Assessing the quality of regional climate information. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. [open access]

Baldissera Pacchetti, M. (online first). Structural uncertainty through the lens of model building. Synthese. [open access]

Baldissera Pacchetti, M. (2018). A role for spatiotemporal scales in modeling. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 67, 14-21. [sciencedirect]

Translations

Baldissera Pacchetti, M. English translations of

  • Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa, Tatjana. (1925). Zur Axiomatisierung des zweiten Hauptsatzes der Thermodynamik. Zeitschrift für Physik, 33, 933–945; and
  • Selected parts of Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa, Tatjana. (1956). Grundlagen der Thermodynamik. Leiden: Brill.

In Jos Uffink, Giovanni Valente, Charlotte Werndl, & Lena Zuchowski (Eds.), Tatjana Afanassjewa and her legacy: philosophical insights from the work of an original physicist and mathematician. 2020. Springer. [springerlink]

Work in Progress

“Trust and values at the science-policy interface”

Abstract available upon request.

“Towards a standpoint epistemology of climate science” (with Julie Jebeile and Erica Thompson)

Abstract available upon request.

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