The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities and John Templeton Foundation

Yale Inference Workshop

Probing the Nature of Inference from Data, Models and Simulations across Disciplines

December 14 – 15, 2023

Greenberg Center at Yale, 391 Prospect Street

This in-person workshop was the culmination of our on-going multidisciplinary exploration project Understanding the Nature of Inference: Correlation and Causation. During the course of our colloquium series, generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation, we explored how inference models operate across disciplines by learning from each other. To this end, we endeavored to go beyond our respective vantage points, across fields and into a new epistemic framework to define causal relationships and how they function. In particular, we discussed the various kinds of methodological schemas, their merits and limits and potential for refinement and re-definition to ferret out causal connections.

During our December 2023 Workshop, experts from varied disciplines presented how they set up problem solving given the complexity of systems that they model; the philosophers assembled examined the nature of laws. A key question they were asked to address in addition to explaining the current landscape of modeling methodologies was how a near-future data deluge is likely to impact their modeling methodologies. Most fields stand to transform dramatically with the influx of vast amounts of new data expected within the next 2 – 5 years. How current conceptual models will need to be refined and altered in this scenario were discussed within the talks and amongst our numerous participants.

We are indebted to The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, as well as to the John Templeton Foundation, for the generous funding we have received to bring this Workshop to fruition.

Register for the Yale Inference Workshop

Invited Speakers

University of Pavia, Italy
Yale University
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Yale University
Wellcome Sanger Institute, United Kingdom
University of Western Ontario, Canada
Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Germany
University of Cologne, Germany
University of California, San Diego
Johns Hopkins University
Stevens Institute of Technology
Columbia University
Yale University
Yale University
Yale University
New York University, Universitá della Svizzera Italia
Nature Reviews Physics

Inference Workshop Schedule

Thursday 14 December, 2023

8:00 – 8:55 am: Breakfast at Greenberg Center

8:55 – 9:00 am: Opening Remarks – Priya Natarajan


9:00 – 9:45 am: Samantha Kleinberg      `

9:45 – 10:30 am: Thomas Blanchard

10:30 – 11:00 am: Jenann Ismael

11:00 – 11:30 am: Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:00 pm: Naftali Weinberger

12:00 – 12:30 pm: Iulia Georgescu

12:30 – 1:00 pm: Zenna Tavares

1:00 – 2:00 pm: Lunch


2:00 – 2:30 pm: Rajit Manohar

2:30 – 3:00 pm Alexander Paseau

3:30 – 3:45 pm: Tea Break

3:45 – 4:30 pm: David Kaiser

4:30 – 5:15 pm: Gila Sher

7:00 - 9:00 pm: Dinner at Mory’s, 306 York Street (for all Workshop speakers and attendees)

Friday 15, December, 2023

8:00 – 9:00 am: Breakfast at Greenberg Center


9:00 – 9:15 am: Remarks by Dean of the Faculty, Tamar Gendler

9:15 – 10:00 am:  Eduardo Fernandez-Duque

10:00 – 10:45 am: Stathis Megas

10:45 – 11:15 am: Brandon Ogbunu

11:15 – 11:45 am: Coffee Break

11:45 – 12:15 pm: Steven Zucker

12:15 – 12:45 pm: Christopher Smeenk

12:45 – 1:15 pm: Tim Maudlin

1:15 – 2:15 pm: Lunch


2:15 – 3:00 pm: Lorenzo Magnani

3:00 – 3:40 pm: Tea Break

3:45 – 4:15 pm: Peter Morgan

4:15 – 5:00 pm: Closing Discussion