Postdoctoral Researcher, Philosophy of Contemporary and Future Science Project, Department of Philosophy, working at LINGNAN UNIVERSITY

Lingnan University, a separate liberal arts institution in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is committed to providing quality education for the whole person by combining the best of Chinese and Western liberal arts traditions. It strives to pursue excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, and community engagement. With three academic faculties, it offers a wide range of undergraduate programs in arts, business and social sciences. Lingnan’s liberal arts education is characterized by a broad interdisciplinary curriculum with specialized disciplinary studies; close relationship between students and staff; a vibrant residential campus; numerous global learning opportunities; active community involvement and diverse work experience. The School of Graduate Studies also offers postgraduate programs up to doctoral level in various disciplines and provides professional education to society at large.

Applications are now invited for the following position:

Postdoctoral researcher (2 vacancies), Philosophy of Contemporary and Future Science Project, Department of Philosophy

(Ref. post : 21/254)

About the department

The Department of Philosophy at Lingnan University is one of the best in Asia. Faculty members publish in leading journals in the field, such as Analysis, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Ethics, Journal of Philosophical Logic, Mind, We, Philosophers’ Imprint, Philosophical Quarterly , Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research and Philosophy of Science. The department has a thriving doctoral program and also hosts several postdoctoral fellows/assistant research professors.

More information on the research interests and publications of Lingnan University philosophers can be found at:


Areas of specialization:

philosophy of science; or epistemology; or Philosophy of Biology or Chemistry or Physics

These positions arise within the framework of a senior research fellowship awarded to Professor Darrell Rowbottom, which will run from 2022 to 2027. The summary of this project follows:

Philosophy of contemporary and future sciences

“Science has changed dramatically over the past few decades and continues to evolve at a remarkable rate. Many changes relate to the way science is practiced. Computer simulations are used to make predictions and offer explanations. Huge bases of information – collections of ‘big data’ – are analyzed for patterns, to generate and test hypotheses New areas of interdisciplinary science are forming, which involve attempts to integrate approaches from natural science disciplines oldest in chemistry, physics and biology.And artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to perform tasks that humans simply cannot.On the horizon are AI scientists.

This project will involve philosophers and scientists working together. It will examine some of the difficulties created by these new approaches and emerging developments, and address some of the interesting questions they raise about the future of science. Some of the results will have practical significance for science, for example how to solve collaborative problems involving different scientific fields, and other results will have intellectual significance, for example for understanding the limits of current and future science.

Some of the specific questions that this project will answer are: To what extent can computer experiments – computer simulations – replace experiments done “for real”, in the laboratory or in the field? How can disputes over what counts as a good method of inquiry, between scientists working in different fields, be effectively resolved? How does the changing social structure of science affect what we should expect from future science? What are the pros and cons of having AI performing specific functions in future science? How could AI be best deployed?

The project will involve a team of ten collaborators from the natural sciences and philosophy, based in Hong Kong and Europe.

Professor Rowbottom is now looking Two postdoctoral fellows work on the project for three years. They will then be joined by at least one other postdoc and one funded doctoral student.

Fellows will be based in Hong Kong but will spend several months in the UK for internships with scientists and philosophers working in related fields.

The ideal candidate would have expertise in philosophy of science or epistemology and would have knowledge of biology, chemistry or physics. Experience working with scientists in the past or knowledge of interdisciplinary scientific fields would be an advantage.

Candidates must have a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the start of the appointment. The start date of the position is open to negotiation but is expected to be in 2022.

Applicants must have publications in leading journals or evidence of their ability to publish in such journals (eg, in the form of writing samples).

The appointee will work within the research team led by Professor Rowbottom.

This will involve:

  1. conduct directed research (including collaborative research with scientists during internships and other team members);
  2. authorship and co-authorship of articles for publication in leading journals;
  3. authorship and submission of spin-off grant proposals to funding agencies;
  4. organize seminars, reading groups, workshops and other related research activities;
  5. give occasional undergraduate and/or graduate courses;
  6. carry out occasional outreach activities (such as lectures aimed at the general public); and
  7. manage/update the project website.

The teaching load will be one or two courses per year, distributed according to departmental needs and by mutual agreement. English will be the language of instruction.


The salary for the positions will be around 40,000 HKD per month. Benefits include annual leave, medical and dental benefits, mandatory provident fund, gratuities and travel and baggage fees (if applicable). Appointments will normally be made on the basis of a three-year contract. Suitably qualified candidates may be offered appointment with the functional title and role of “Research Assistant Professor”.

Application procedure (online application only)

Please click “Apply Now” to submit your application. Applicants must include a letter of interest, CV and writing sample in the application. Candidates must also provide the names and contact details of two references to whom the candidates’ consent has been given to provide references. The personal data collected will only be used for recruitment purposes.

Informal inquiries regarding the position can be directed to Professor Darrell Rowbottom at [email protected]

We are an equal opportunity employer. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early for consideration.

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment for the advertised position, or to fill the position by invitation or by search. We regret that only shortlisted candidates are informed.