The limits of the sciences in identifying causes and scientific laws

Project leader: Alexander Krauss

Scientists do not often question the scientific methods used to generate causes in their particular scientific models. This research project investigates leading scientific methods, including randomised experiments, and their implicit theory, assumptions and limitations. Better understanding the limits of using particular methods in the sciences is important for research and policy, because these methods can often lead to some degree of biased results and scientists using them at times misguidedly claim to establish causal relationships. By combining theoretical, methodological and empirical analysis, this research project aims to help disentangle the links between the actual methods applied by scientists and the causal effects they claim to identify using these methods.

Alexander Krauss is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He has also taught at University College London. His research focuses largely on the limits of science and scientific methodology. He has a Bachelor's in Philosophy, a Master's in Philosophy, as well as in Political Science, and a PhD in Development Economics and Applied Statistics.



  • Krauss, Alexander. The limits of randomised experiments (of blindly flipping a coin). Under review.
  • Krauss, Alexander. Trials and errors. In, ‘Gold standard or unhealthy fixation? A medical educator’s guide to current thinking on the status of randomized controlled trials in clinical research’; (ed. Margaret MacDougall). Under review, Springer Press.
  • Krauss, Alexander. 2018. Why all randomised controlled trials produce biased results. Vol. 50, 4, pp. 312-322, Annals of Medicine. 

Selected conference presentations

  • Biases in Science conference, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (University of Munich), 2019
  • 3rd International Conference of the German Society for Philosophy of Science, University of Cologne, 2019
  • 9th Conference of the Spanish Society of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Madrid, 2018
  • 10th International Conference of the German Society for Analytic Philosophy, University of Cologne, 2018
  • Seventh Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice. Ghent University, 2018
  • Situated Cognition Conference (DFG-Research Group), Ruhr-University Bochum, 2018
  • Issues in Medical Epistemology Conference. University of Cologne, 2017
  • 9th European Congress of Analytic Philosophy. University of Munich (LMU), 2017

Public engagement activities/News coverage