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Mayo selected
for Lakatos award

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 15 - December 10, 1998

Deborah Mayo, professor of philosophy, has been selected to receive the 1998 Imre Lakatos Award in Philosophy of Science for her book Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1996.
The prize of 10,000 British pounds is awarded "for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science...in the form of a book published in English during the previous six years." It is regarded as the premier prize in philosophy of science. The award will be shared with Jeffrey Bub from the University of Maryland for his book Interpreting the Quantum World.
Mayo is the first female recipient of the Lakatos Award. It is given in memory of Imre Lakatos, who joined the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1960.
The award is made possible by the generosity of Spiro Latsis, who was Lakatos's Ph.D. student at the LSE. An international committee bestows the award and the director of the London School of Economics serves as chair. The award is made on the advice of an anonymous and independent international panel of selectors. Mayo will give the Lakatos lecture at the LSE in March 1999 and will officially receive the award at that time.
In 1997, Mayo's book received the Sturm Award for Excellence in Faculty Research given by Phi Beta Kappa at Virginia Tech.
Mayo is devoting academic year 1998-99 to further research in the area of the philosophy of experiment and scientific inference, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. She will be the director of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on Philosophy of Experimental Inference: Induction, Reliability, and Error. The seminar, to be held at Virginia Tech in June and July 1999, will be available to college and university teachers. The program, whose goal is to improve the teaching and research of college faculty members in the United States, provides an opportunity for 15 faculty members to work with Mayo for six weeks next summer.