First Biennial Midwest Summer School in Philosophy of Physics

Call for Applications: First Biennial Midwest Summer School in Philosophy of Physics

Hosted by: University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago and the Space and Time After Quantum Gravity project, University of Notre Dame

Location: Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, 5737 S. University Ave., Chicago, Illinois, USA

Dates: July 22-27, 2018

Further information, when available, at

We are pleased to announce a summer school in philosophy of physics to be held in Chicago in Summer 2018. We plan for it to be the first in a series to be held every two years in the Midwest, primarily drawing on local faculty, but open to students from across the globe. The themes this year include quantum gravity, the physics of the observer, quantum theory, and experiment in fundamental physics. Students will study these foundational topics from the points of view of philosophy of physics, metaphysics, physics, and history of science.

Faculty (we expect to announce more):

  • Valia Allori (Northern Illinois) – provisional
  • David Baker (Michigan)
  • Gerald Gabrielse (Northwestern)
  • Jeffrey Harvey (Chicago)
  • Don Howard (Notre Dame)
  • Nick Huggett (Illinois at Chicago)
  • Kerry McKenzie (UCSD)
  • Tom Pashby (Chicago)
  • Nic Teh (Notre Dame)

Organizing Committee: Nick Huggett, Tom Pashby, Nic Teh

The intended audience for the Summer School are Masters students, PhD students, and postdocs working or planning to work in the intersection between physics and philosophy. We will also consider applications from philosophers and physicists wishing to expand their existing research interests to include foundational questions. We will furthermore consider applications from members of the general public who can demonstrate an acquaintance with the subject equivalent to the Master’s level. Applications from members of groups under-represented in physics or philosophy are encouraged.

Typical days will involve morning and late afternoon lectures, with afternoons of guided group study with faculty, and evening activities. Lectures will commence on the morning of Monday July 23rd, and finish after lunch on Friday July 27th. The Summer School is supported by the John Templeton Foundation, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and FQXi. Some funding is still undecided, but our goal is that there will be no registration fee — meals and accommodation will be provided without cost. Students would only be responsible for travel to the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus (and extras like entertainment).

To apply for the Summer School, candidates should submit:

  1. A cover letter of no more than one page describing your current research interest and its relevance to the topic of the Summer School; please explain as specifically as possible how the summer school will benefit your research plans.
  2. A current CV.
  3. A short letter from your advisor or other person knowledgeable of your work, expressing your suitability.
  4. Optional: participants wishing to present their own work should submit a title and a 200-word abstract. If accepted, they will have the opportunity to present their work in a poster session.

Please combine all your documents into one PDF file and upload it to by March 19, 2018. (Just insert dummy text in the title and keyword fields if you are not submitting an abstract.) Decisions will be made in early April. The Organizing Committee will select the admitted participants based on the academic strength of their file and the pertinence of their interests.