Dr Charlotte Werndl, lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at LSE, has been awarded the Cushing Memorial Prize for 2011 for her paper, 'What are the new implications of chaos and unpredictability?', published in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science in 2009.
The prize, awarded by the John J Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values, along with the Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Physics, carries an $1,000 award plus and invitation to deliver a lecture as part of the History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium at the University of Notre Dame.
Charlotte summarizes her argument in the abstract of her paper: "One might expect that the question 'What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability?' has already been answered in a satisfactory way. However, this is not the case…I will approach this question by showing that chaos can be defined via mixing, which has never before been explicitly argued for. Based on this insight, I will propose that the sought-after new implication of chaos for unpredictability is the following: for predicting any event, all sufficiently past events are approximately probabilistically irrelevant."
Professor Luc Bovens, head of the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, said: "I am very pleased to see that Charlotte's work is being honoured in this way. Her paper solves a problem about the interpretation of the nature of unpredictability in chaos theory that has plagued philosophers and physicists for decades. This is a great achievement."
Charlotte earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics in 2003 as well as Master's degrees in both Mathematics and Philosophy in 2006 from the University of Salzburg and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in 2009. She was a Junior Research Fellow in The Queen's College and Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University during 2009-10.
20 April 2011