Alan Chalmers

  • Life of Alan Chalmers

    Chalmers was born in Bristol, England in 1939. Attending multiple Universities, Chalmers graduated with a PHD at the University of London in 1971. Upon graduating he took a post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Sydney in Australia and liked it so much he stayed. His primary research interest is the philosophy of science and he is author of the best-selling textbook What Is This Thing Called Science?
  • What Is This Thing Called Science?

    What Is This Thing Called Science?
    His best selling book, What Is This Thing Called Science? was first published in 1976. The book describes reasons for doubting that facts acquired by observation and experiments are as straightforward and secure as has traditionally been assumed.
    Scientific knowledge can neither be conclusively proved nor conclusively disproved by reference to the facts.
  • More on this Topic

    More on this Topic
    The writer continues by expounding on key terms such experimentation, induction and more importantly falsification and its limitations. In his book he notes, Science learns from mistakes. Experimentalists do this better than Popper because if research is based on falsificationable theories there is no guidance to how we can use the data from failures. He also covers Realism and anti-realism saying, the enduring part of science is the one that is based on observations and experiments.
  • Retirement

    He held the position of director of Science until his retirement in 1999. Upon retiring he became a Senior Research Fellow in the Philosophy Department at Flinders University. His importance to the development of History and Philosophy of Science and in 1998 Alan a Centenary Medal by the Australian Government, on behalf of the Queen, for ‘Services to the Humanities in the area of History and Philosophy of Science’ in 2003.