Oct. 6, 2016, 8 p.m. UTC // Oct. 6, 2016, 4 p.m. in America/New_York
Experiments are commonly judged superior to models and simulations, as sources of scientific knowledge. This judgment rests on ideas about experiments getting scientists “closer to the natural world” than models, in various ways. In this talk I explore the claim that experiments are superior sources of surprise. This claim can take a number of different forms, including (1) compared to experimenting, modelling leads to surprises only rarely, (2) surprises from experiments are more valuable, or (3) experiments can surprise us in ways that models cannot. I develop an account of different kinds of sources of surprise, and use it as a basis to critically assess those claims.