Omari Edwards at IAI News:
Thanks so much for speaking to us Nick, I wanted to start off by asking about the philosophical principles you use in the lab every day. Philosophers often see science as proposing a reductive theory of the world, breaking it down into its constituent parts. Some worry that this ignores the complexity of life. Do you think that this reduction plays a role in your work and science more broadly?
I have to say that reductionism plays a rather ambiguous role in my work, and I think in the work of most scientists. Of course, there are some necessities about the scientific method which mean that the only way we can answer certain questions is by reducing a problem to its fundamentals. However, I think this misses out on what scientists are really doing. We aren’t trying to just give a reductive account we are always working within a framework. And that framework is going to be synthetic.