Identifying Future-Proof Science


Is science getting at the truth? Sceptics claim that, given all the ‘scientific revolutions’ in the history of science, we should expect further major changes in scientific thinking in the future. They ask: given the history of science, wouldn’t it be naïve to think that many/most current scientific theories reveal ‘the truth’, and will never be discarded in favour of other theories? After all, previous scientists thought so, and they were wrong.

Philosophers of science have resisted this line of thought by identifying important differences between past science and current science, including differences in the size of the scientific community, and the quantity and quality of the evidence involved. However, very big U-turns in science have been quite recent, including attitudes towards continental drift in the 1960s, and the dramatic revelation, in 1998, that the universe’s expansion is accelerating. It seems reasonable to suppose that very big U-turns will continue, especially when we dare to look 500 years ahead. It is even possible that a revolution going right to the core of the scientific method is required in order to tackle consciousness.

Thus we must ask the question: Is it possible to identify any future-proof science?

Programme details

Saturday 27 November 2021

2.45pm  Course Registration

3.00pm  What is future-proof science? PETER VICKERS

4.30pm  Tea / coffee

5.00pm  Can our current scientific approach explain consciousness? PHILIP GOFF

6.30pm  Break / bar open

7.00pm  Dinner

8.15pm  The challenge from the history of science, PETER VICKERS  

9.30pm  End of day

Sunday 28 November 2021

8.15am  Breakfast (residents only)

9.30am  Foundations for a new science of consciousness, PHILIP GOFF                                               

10.45am  Coffee / tea

11.15am  Q&A, Questions director to be confirmed

12.30pm  Break / bar open

1.00pm  Lunch

2.00pm  Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition (includes tea/coffee) £90.00
Baguette Sunday £5.50
Dinner Saturday evening £22.00
Single B&B Saturday Night £89.00
Single Room Only Saturday Night £76.00
Sunday Lunch £16.00
Twin/Double Room (2 sharing) B&B Saturday night £126.00
Twin/Double Room Only (2 sharing) Saturday Night £110.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Philip Goff


Philip Goff is a philosopher and consciousness researcher at Durham University. His work is focused on how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview, and he defends panpsychism on the grounds that it avoids the difficulties faced by the more traditional options of physicalism and dualism. He has published an academic book on this topic – Consciousness and Fundamental Reality (Oxford University Press) – as well as a book aimed at a general audience – Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness (Rider in UK, Pantheon in US). Goff has published over 40 articles in academic journals, and also writes for newspapers and magazines, such as The Guardian, Aeon, the New Statesman, the Times Literary Supplement and Philosophy Now. Website: Blog on philosophy and politics: Twitter: @philip_goff


Dr Peter Vickers


Peter Vickers received a BSc in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of York in 2003, followed by an MA (2005) in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Leeds. This led to a PhD in history and philosophy of science (2009), also at Leeds, supervised by Prof. Steven French. He then spent a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, USA (2010-11), completing his first book Understanding Inconsistent Science (Oxford University Press, 2003). He is now into his seventh year as a lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Durham University, UK, and is planning a second book provisionally entitled Identifying Future-Proof Science.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.