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The first image of a supermassive black hole in M87.
The History Philosophy Culture
Working Group of the
Next Generation
Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

Social science and humanities perspectives on responsible telescope siting, outreach, education, foundations, algorithms, inferences, visualizations, governance structures and knowledge formation in scientific collaborations.

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Participants at the ngEHT meeting in Granada, june 2022.

Credit: Marianna Foschi

"In the development of major technical collaborations, it is rare indeed for scientists, philosophers, historians, ethnographers, art historians, and sociologists to have the chance to think together about scientific knowledge as it unfolds. Here we have that possibility, not after the fact, but now, in the course of building instruments, observations, theories, and interpretations of black holes. We are shaping the start of this joint venture; its future to be built and written."

Peter Galison, coordinator of the HPC working group

News

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"Visualizations in Astronomy"

UPAC Colloquium, 24 October 2023

"What You See Is Not What You Get:
Interpretational Limitations of the EHT Images of Black Holes"

Philosophy of Science Around the World, 5 Nov 2023

"Recording videos of a black hole together: the ngEHT as collaboration between STS researchers, engineers and scientists" &

"Democratic Aspirations and Institutional Constraints: The Governance of Large Research Collaborations"

4S Honolulu, November 2023

HPC plenaries

Coordinator: Peter Galison

Every first Wednesday of the month, 11:00 Eastern Time

 

All upcoming plenaries & focus group meetings can be found in the Google calendar.

If you are interested in joining any of the HPC focus groups below,

please send a very brief description of background & interests to n.c.m.martens@uu.nl.

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2nd HPC Workshop, Boston, May 2023

Focus Groups

Foundations

The Foundations focus group complements the Fundamental Physics working group, providing a different, critical lens for thinking about what the ngEHT observations can tell us about fundamental physics. It does so by facilitating ongoing interdisciplinary discussions of foundational issues, primarily through the weekly BHI Foundations Seminar.

Meetings: Every Monday during Harvard term time, 9:30 Eastern Time

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Group leader: Helen Meskhidze (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science)

Group leader: Prashant Kocherlakota (astronomy & theoretical physics)
Erik Curiel (foundations of physics)
Jeroen van Dongen (history and philosophy of science)
Connemara Doran (history and philosophy of physics, history of astronomy and cosmology, history of mathematics) 

Saakshi Dulani (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, metaphysics of science)
Jamee Elder (philosophy of astrophysics, philosophy of science; former focus group leader)

Jonas Enander (science communication)

Klaas Landsman (mathematical physics)
Paula Muhr (image operativity, media studies, STS)
Sebastian Murgueitio Ramirez (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science) 
Priya Natarajan (astrophysics)
Lydia Patton (philosophy of science, history and philosophy of science)
Mike Schneider (history and philosophy of cosmology and quantum gravity)

Matt Stanley (history of science)
James Owen Weatherall (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science)

Galina Weinstein (history and philosophy of science, history and philosophy of relativity)

Algorithms, Inference & Visualization

Focus group using tools from philosophy of science and art history to better understand sources of bias and long term reliability in computer supported inferences, develop guidelines for new inferential methods, and helping with intentional image presentation.

Meetings: Every second Wednesday of the month, 11:00 Eastern Time

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Group leader: Juliusz Doboszewski (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science) 

Group leader: Jamee Elder (philosophy of astrophysics, philosophy of science)

Erik Curiel (foundations and epistemology of physics)

Jeroen van Dongen (history and philosophy of science)

Jonas Enander (science communication)

Marie Gueguen (epistemology/philosophy of astrophysics)

Elizabeth A. Kessler (visual culture, history of science and technology)

Trine Krigsvoll Haagensen (media ecology, image theory, visual studies, history of science and technology)

Helen Meskhidze (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science)

Paula Muhr (image operativity, media studies, STS)

Rodrigo Ochigame (anthropology of science)

Dom Pesce (astrophysics)

Emilie Skulberg (history of black hole visual representations)

Daniel Tapia (astrophysics)

Matt Stanley (history of science)

Galina Weinstein (history and philosophy of science, history and philosophy of relativity)

Responsible Siting

Focus group on general best practices and specific historical, cultural, environmental, and ethical studies in the consideration of new sites joining the ngEHT.

Meetings: Every third Wednesday of the month, 10:00-12:00 Eastern Time

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Group leader: Ann C. Thresher (philosophy of science, science ethics, environmental ethics)

Group leader: Daniel Palumbo (astrophysics)

Group leader: Luis Reyes-Galindo (STS, responsible research and innovation)

Shannon Sylvie Abelson (philosophy of science, environmental philosophy)

Jamee Elder (philosophy of astrophysics, philosophy of science)

Jonas Enander (science communication)

Arturo Gómez-Ruiz (astrophysics, history of science, cultural astronomy)

Marie Gueguen (philosophy of astrophysics)

Joyce C. Havstad (philosophy of science and values, research ethics, STS)

Tony Milligan (ethics of space exploration, science and ethics)

Priya Natarajan (astrophysics)

Hilding Neilson (Indigenous astronomies, Indigenous rights, and research ethics)

Dom Pesce (astrophysics)

Elliot Richards (electrical engineering, peace engineering)

Sophie Ritson (history and philosophy of science, research governance)

Matt Stanley (history of science)

Daniel Tapia (astrophysics)

Samantha M. Thompson (history of astronomy, technology, the environment)

Bill Vanderburgh (history and philosophy of science)

Collaborations

Focus group on governance structure & social epistemology–discussion of key questions regarding the relationship between the individual member and the collaboration as a whole, including authorship, consensus & diversity of opinion.

Meetings: Every last Wednesday of the month, 11:00 Eastern Time

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Group leader: Niels C.M. Martens (philosophy of astronomy)

Siska De Baerdemaeker (history and philosophy of cosmology and astrophysics)

Richelle Boone (sociology and philosophy of science, social epistemology)

Ruth Castillo (philosophy of physics and cosmology, theoretical physics)

Haixin Dang (social epistemology of science)

Jeroen van Dongen (history and philosophy of science)

Saakshi Dulani (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, metaphysics of science, science and international affairs)

Jamee Elder (philosophy of astrophysics, philosophy of science)

Luca Guzzardi (history and philosophy of science, social epistemology, epistemology of collaboration)

Joshua Habgood-Coote (social epistemology)

Roberto Lalli (history of physics, digital humanities)

Alexandru Marcoci (applied decision-making) 

Paula Muhr (image operativity, media studies, STS)

Priya Natarajan (astrophysics)

Hilding Neilson (Indigenous astronomies, Indigenous rights, and research ethics)

James Nguyen (philosophy of science)

Rodrigo Ochigame (anthropology of science)

Vitaly Pronskikh (history & philosophy of science, social epistemology, ethics of science)

Martin Reinhart (Science Studies)

Luis Reyes-Galindo (STS, sociology of trust, science communication)

Sophie Ritson (history and philosophy of science, research governance)
Cornelia Schendzielorz (Sociology of Science, Governance of Science, STS)

Mike Schneider (social dynamics of science)

Emilie Skulberg (history of black hole visual representations)

Arno Simons (history and philosophy of modern physics, digital humanities)

Helene Sorgner (STS, sociology of science)

Daniel Tapia (astrophysics)

Bill Vanderburgh (history and philosophy of science)

James Owen Weatherall (philosophy of physics, philosophy of science)

Adrian Wüthrich (history and philosophy of modern physics, digital humanities)

Task Forces

Authorship

Developing a protocol for ngEHT authorship, tailored to the specific needs of the various types of members of the ngEHT.

Falls under Collaborations Focus Group

Contact persons: Niels Martens & Haixin Dang

Oral History

Coordinating interviews with ngEHT members, by collecting questions from various HPC projects.

HPC-wide task force

Contact persons: Emilie Skulberg & Jonas Enander

Code of Conduct, Climate & Conflict Resolution (C3)

Developing a Code of Conduct that the whole collaboration stands behind, followed by conflict resolution procedures.

ngEHT-wide task force; includes 4 HPC members

Contact person: Jonathan Weintroub

Expert Forecasting

Investigating the benefits of systematically eliciting expert judgments about the outcome of ngEHT research to the collaboration's decision-making process.

Falls under Collaborations Focus Group

Contact person: Alexandru Marcoci

Governance

Advising the ngEHT regarding governance structures, based on a systematic analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of organisational structures of similar collaborations and institutes.

Falls under Collaborations Focus Group

Contact persons: Helene Sorgner & Saakshi Dulani

Dissensus

Systematic analysis of various forms of dissensus, and developing mechanisms for harnessing positive dissensus and disincentivizing negative forms of dissensus.

Falls under Collaborations Focus Group

Contact person: Haixin DangAlexandru Marcoci

Publications

The HPC White Paper has been published in Galaxies. The paper delineates the activities and future goals of the HPC Working Group. 

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We have published a summary of the HPC white paper in The Conversation.

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The ngEHT's Key Science Goals paper has been published in the journal Galaxies. This is the first time that the KSG of an (astro)physics collaboration explicitly includes goals related to the humanities and social sciences (§2.8). 

HPC Events

HPC Presentations

Images from the 1st & 2nd HPC Workshops in Boston. Credit: Jamee Elder & Niels Martens

Recent videos

Introduction to the era of big science, illustrated with the ngEHT (Utrecht University Open Science Course)

Fair credit assignment, collective authorship & diversity of opinions in big science (Utrecht University Open Science Course)

"Planet-Sized Integrated Philosophy of Science" Symposium Introduction

"Planet-Sized Integrated Philosophy of Science" Symposium

How to Organise a Telescope Collaboration

Governing Epistemology: Collective Reason at the Core of Science, Peter Galison @ HPC Collaborations Focus Group,

29 March 2023.

Presenting the HPC working group at the ngEHT conference in Granada in June of 2022.

Imaging & responsible siting at the ngEHT conference in Granada in June of 2022.

More videos can be found on the ngEHT youtube channel.

Collaborators

Utrecht Philosophy of Astronomy & Cosmology (UPAC)

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COSMOS History & Philosophy of Cosmology Network

The HPC working group aims to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible. The HPC, its four focus groups and six task forces have almost a hundred meetings each year; only one of those is hybrid, all others are fully online. The single hybrid HPC meeting will be held the day before the annual BHI conference, such that people can combine both conferences in one trip. Field work will only occur when strictly necessary. Decisions about research presentations at conferences are left to the individual (and their research institutions).

The HPC webpage is maintained by Jonas Enander and Niels Martens

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