Professoressa Ordinaria
Delegata del Dipartimento per l'Internazionalizzazione
041 234 7259
Sito web (scheda personale)
Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni Culturali
Sito web struttura:
Sede: Malcanton Marcorà
Research Institute
Research Institute for Social Innovation

Dati relazione

Periodo di riferimento
01/09/2016 - 01/09/2019
Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni Culturali
Professoressa Associata

Attività didattica

A.A.InsegnamentoCodice Voto (max 4)Voto medio area (max 4)
2016/2017Philosophy of Social SciencesPHD009
2017/2018Philosophy of Social SciencesPHD009


Anno solareTipologiaTesi RelatoreTesi Correlatore
2016Corso di laurea magistrale11
2017Corso di laurea2
2017Corso di laurea magistrale3
2018Corso di laurea4
2018Corso di laurea magistrale12


  • Trust in Science: The ontic and pragmatic debates

Ricerche sviluppate e in corso

  • Evidence for use
  • God's Order, Man's Order and the Order of Nature
  • Knowledge for Use: Making the Most of Social Science to Build Better Policies
  • Trust in Science: The ontic and pragmatic debates

Pubblicazioni realizzate nel triennio

  • MONTUSCHI Eleonora (2019), Filosofia della scienza e sociologia della conoscenza scientifica in Barrotta Pierluigi, MONTUSCHI Eleonora, La filosofia della scienza in Italia, Roma, Armando, pp. 323-344 (ISBN 978-88-6992-607-5) (Articolo su libro)
  • MONTUSCHI Eleonora (2019), La filosofia della scienza: spunti di riflessione disciplinare in Barrotta Pierluigi, MONTUSCHI Eleonora, La filosofia della scienza in Italia, Roma, Armando, pp. 12-27 (ISBN 978-88-6992-607-5) (Articolo su libro)
  • (a cura di) Eleonora Montuschi (2019), La filosofia della scienza in Italia in Barrotta, Pierluigi; Montuschi, Eleonora in La filosofia della scienza in Italia, Roma, Armando, pp. 1-350 (ISBN 978-88-6992-607-5) (Curatela)
  • Montuschi Eleonora (2018), Constructed Objectivity and Realist Presuppositions: A Kantian Framework in CHESS WORKING PAPER, vol. 2018-01, pp. 1-23 (ISSN 2053-2660) (Articolo su rivista)
  • Eleonora Montuschi; Pierluigi Barrotta (2018), Expertise, Relevance and Types of Knowledge in SOCIAL EPISTEMOLOGY, vol. 32, pp. 387-396 (ISSN 0269-1728) (Articolo su rivista)
  • Pierluigi Barrotta; Eleonora Montuschi (2018), Filosofia del rischio, conoscenza locale e ruolo degli esperti: un’analisi epistemologica di case study in PARADIGMI, vol. XXXVI, pp. 159-172 (ISSN 1120-3404) (Articolo su rivista)
  • Eleonora Montuschi; Pierluigi Barrotta (2018), The Dam Project.: Who are the experts? A philosophical lesson from the Vajont disaster , Science and Democracy. Controversies and Conflicts, Amsterdam, Benjamins, pp. 17-33 (ISBN 978 90 272 0074 7) (Articolo su libro)
  • Eleonora Montuschi (2017), The Objects of Social Science Chinese edition , Beijing, China Science Publishing & Media Ltd., pp. 1-176 (ISBN 978-7-03-055616-5) (Monografia o trattato scientifico)
  • Eileen, Munro; Nancy, Cartwright; Jeremy, Hardie; Eleonora, Montuschi (2017), Improving Child Safety: deliberation, judgement and empirical research in CHESS WORKING PAPER, vol. February 2017, pp. 1-175 (ISSN 2053-2660) (Articolo su rivista)
  • Eleonora, Montuschi (2017), Oggettività e disaccordo: il ruolo degli esperti scientifici nelle decisioni di policy in BIBLIOTECA DELLA LIBERTÀ, vol. 219, pp. 1-14 (ISSN 2035-5866) (Articolo su rivista)
  • Montuschi Eleonora (2017), Scientific Evidence vs Expert Opinion: A False Alternative? in NOTIZIE DI POLITEIA, vol. XXXIII, pp. 69-79 (ISSN 1128-2401) (Articolo su rivista)
  • Eleonora, Montuschi (2017), There is "Noise" and Noise in PERSPECTIVES ON SCIENCE, vol. 25, pp. 204-225 (ISSN 1063-6145) (Articolo su rivista)
  • MONTUSCHI Eleonora (2017), Using Science, Making Policy: What Should We Worry About? in EUROPEAN JOURNAL FOR PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, vol. 7, pp. 57-78 (ISSN 1879-4912) (Articolo su rivista)
  • Montuschi Eleonora (2017), Applications of Models from Social Science to Social Policy , Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science, Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York, Springer, pp. 1103-1116 (ISBN 978-3-319-30525-7) (Articolo su libro)
  • Eleonora Montuschi (2017), The Objects of Social Science, Preface to second edition in Eleonora Montuschi, The Objects of Social Science, Chinese edition, Beijing, China Science Publishing & Media Ltd., pp. 1-8 (ISBN 978-7-03-055616-5) (Prefazione/Postfazione)
  • Eleonora Montuschi (2016), Objectivity , The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science in ROUTLEDGE PHILOSOPHY COMPANIONS, New York/London, Routledge, pp. 281-292 (ISBN 978-1-138-82575-8) (Articolo su libro)
  • Montuschi, Eleonora; Harre, Rom (2016), The Making and Maintenance of Social Order in E. Montuschi, R. Harre, Rethinking Order. After the Laws of Nature, Londra, Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 119-139 (ISBN 9781474244084) (Articolo su libro)

Partecipazione come referee di progetti di ricerca nazionali ed internazionali

NSF's merit review process, US National Science Foundation (
Evaluator for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Evaluator for Miur Ricerca
Evaluator for REWIRE: Reinforcing Women in Research; Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND Fellowship Programme

Partecipazione a comitati editoriali di riviste/collane scientifiche

membro editorial board 'European Journal for the Philosophy of Science' (rivista fascia A)
membro editorial board 'Philosophy of Social Science' (rivista fascia A)

Descrizione dell'attività di ricerca svolta nel triennio e gli obiettivi futuri

I have pursued my work on ‘practical objectivity’ within the framework of the ERC project grant ‘Knowledge for use’ (Durham/LSE/Ca’ Foscari), for which I lead the research stream ‘Deliberating policies’. I have expanded on the relation between deliberation (as a specific form of practical reasoning), expert judgement and local knowledge – which constituted the focus of my perspective within the framework of this project (see previous three-year report) – with the recent addition of theoretical concern for the concept of trust. For expert deliberation to become effective it requires both to be based on trustworthy knowledge/competence and on trusting relations between producers and users of that knowledge. Trust – and in this specific framework, trust in science – is the cement that lays the foundations for making knowledge usable, and used well. For example, when expert judgement takes the form of scientific advice to policy making, questioning the reliability of the content of that advice is not enough. We ought to question how that advice reaches the policy sphere, by what processes and mechanisms, and whether and how these processes secure accountability, objective communication, and transparency of purpose. In one word we also need to question how we do/can ‘trust’ the process that goes from advice to policy.
The concept of trust, and of trust in science, have been widely addressed by different types of literatures – political theory, sociology, science studies, science policy, history and philosophy of science, etc. Each domain has developed quite distinct insights into the two kinds of trust mentioned above (trustworthiness of knowledge production, and trust in the use of that knowledge). A perspective barely tried before - which is the one I endorse - is that of trying to approach and analyse the two types of trust together, by letting separate debates concerning trust inform each other, and benefit from each other both epistemologically and pragmatically.

I have been discussing these issues in academic venues (by being invited to talk at conferences and workshops both nationally, and internationally in USA, Japan, UK, Denmark, etc.) and also non-academic fora (for example, by being invited by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisers to the European Commission in Brussels to take part in an expert panel whose purpose was to draft an opinion on ‘How to provide good science advice to EC policymakers, based on available evidence, under conditions of scientific uncertainty and complexity’). For details see list of talks below.
Some of this work has been published in journals (Fascia A, Scopus), and is now converging on writing a book commissioned by Oxford University Press with Nancy Cartwright under the provisional title of ‘What Makes Science Trustworthy’. The writing of this book has now taken precedence on the previously planned book on social objectivity and expert knowledge (see previous three-year report) as it will be the final research outcome of our current ERC project, due to conclude in approximately a year time. For the OUP book I have in particular been working on the part on scientific method (what it really means for science to follow methods, by developing a perspective partly normative and partly pragmatic) and on a part on scientific objectivity, where I try to develop a new model of objectivity based on the concept of relevance.

Most of my work on trust has been developed and carried out from Ca’ Foscari:
- in 2018 I organised a conference on ‘Science and Democracy’, attended by national and international scholars;
- in 2018 I have assembled an international consortium in view of applying for a Horizon 2020 grant under the scheme SC6-Governance-2018-2019-2020, topic ‘Trust in governance’ (title of project: ‘Trust in Contemporary Knowledge Societies/TICKS’, project leader Ca’ Foscari – then submitted on 14/3/19, evaluated by the European Commission well above the required threshold and therefore included by Ca’ Foscari in the list of applications worthy of internal ‘incentives’). The underlying aim of this project was an attempt to investigate the dynamics and relations of three central dimensions of trust in EU governance, and what balance between trust/distrust are conducive to stable and sustainable governance. Ontic trust concerns trustworthiness; when is trust justified in the knowledge claims and decision practices used by governing institutions. Pragmatic trust concerns the institutional features that nurture and support trust in governance. Affective trust concerns people’s reactions/attitudes to regulation, legislation and policy and to the various types of expertise informing each of them. The underlying assumption was that all three dimensions must mesh together for governance both to be and to be seen to be trustworthy. Empirically detailed case studies were then meant to investigate the dynamics of these dimensions in EU financial systems, regulatory institutions, policy interventions, science communication and media.

- in 2018 I applied for, and won a ‘SPIN grant-Misura 2’ for a project called ‘Trust in Science: The Ontic and Pragmatic Debates’. The idea of this project takes its cue from the work developed in the context of TICKS. The grant, that also allowed me to hire a post-doc, has resulted so far in i) founding a research centre (TIS – Trust in Science) based at the Dept. of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at Ca’ Foscari, and which has already hosted an international event in Dec.2019; and ii) assembling a new international consortium in view of applying for another Horizon 2020 – H2020 SU-GOVERNANCE-21-2020 ‘Developing deliberative and participatory democracies through experimentations’ (provisional title of project : Inclusive Science for European Democracy - ISEED). The new development of my work concerns the field of so called ‘citizen science’. In the context of the ‘knowledge society’, contemporary democracies face the problem of how to develop a « culture of participation » that makes citizens fruitfully interact with different categories of experts, there included professional scientists on one side, and the governance bodies on the other. Dealing with this problem has major repercussions both on how science is practiced and on how democratic processes of governance gain support from relevant practices. Citizen science programmes constitute an interesting and suitable field of study from which to interrogate the sociological and political dynamics leading to, or blocking, the emergence of inclusive deliberative processes – e.g, by interrogating how citizens communicate among themselves, in social media or during the programme experiments ; how they put their concerns to professional researchers regarding the protocols of a piece of research or the motivating questions of a programme; how they feel ‘engaged’ in a programme or to what degree they feel responsible vis-à-vis its results, etc. These programmes also interestingly address the way science is perceived by the public (the issue of trust returns), and whether science should be praticed with an overwhelming degree of confidence rather than doubt (or viceversa).
The latter question has become the central concern of yet another project I have been involved in drafting, and recently submitted with the University of Durham to the Templeton Foundation under the title ‘Science between Hubris and Doubt’ (result of evaluation due in August 2020). This project aims to chart a course for what could be called ‘intellectual humility’, between the Scylla of Hubris and the Charybdis of Doubt and Denial. Both attitudes are dangerous: if science involves pursuit of truth, hubris encourages overconfidence in our ability to attain truth, doubt undermines our confidence in the truths we find. Each has consequences for action. Consider development efforts: on the one hand international agencies confidently prescribe ‘well-established’ programmes that do real damage on the ground; on the other we are told that we know so little that we should go only for ‘low hanging fruit’ or abandon aid altogether. Epistemic responsibility avoids both hubristic excess and incapacitating doubt.
In this context, it is important to encourage the wider public to take an active interest in science and to take part in science programmes. Building an inclusive culture of participation in, and of deliberation on, what are perceived to be crucial questions to be addressed and solved by society and science jointly is an overall aim of this project. Building such a culture requires attentive and rigorous reflection on how scientists present their findings outside the community of professionals and make them available, understood and worthy of trust to non-specialists. A good balance between hubris and doubt should be not only a motivating feature of scientific conduct but a form of moral responsibility due to the ultimate users and beneficiaries of scientific knowledge. Cooperation between the public and professional scientists requires rethinking of how scientists do science (science should be open, accessible, transparent, shared etc.) and how (and why) citizens can be motivated to take part in scientific programmes (active participation, deliberation, democratization, involvement in the questions addressed and how to address them etc.).

Altri prodotti scientifici

Being a strong believer in the value and importance of bridging the gap between the humanities and the sciences, and of finding innovative forms to educate young people in both, over the last year I have been working at a new project for a master degree in philosophy and history of science and technology with a strong emphasis on practical, ethical, social, educational applications - the first of its kind in Italy. This degree, which originates from a collaboration between the University of Venice and the University of Bologna (but, if successful, might expand to include a foreign partner), will be submitted for evaluation Ca' Foscari Challenge School in March 2020, and if successful will be hosted by the DFCB.

Menzioni e premi ricevuti

premio incentivi di Ateneo per presentazione di Horizon 2020 'Trust in Contemporary Knowledge Societies' (TICKS)

Relazioni invitate presso convegni o workshops

October 2019: invited talk 'Expertise e forme di collaborazione epistemica', convegno 'Complessità, esperti scientifici e valutazione del rischio', Associazione Nuova Civiltà delle Macchine, Forlì.
September 2019: invited talk ‘How do we choose a good method?’, Workshop ‘Norms in Social Research’, University of Bergen (Norway).
June 2019: invited talk ‘Objectivity and the tangle of practice’, CRASSH, Cambridge University.
October 2018: Invited introductory talk 'Filosofia della scienza: prospettive', ‘Filosofia della scienza in Italia’ conference, Forlì, Italy.
July 2018: invited talk ‘Philosophy of science in practice: an example of analysis of case study’, workshop ‘Trends in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy’, Ca’ Foscari Venice.
June 2018: invited talk ‘Deliberating (with) Science’, Deliberation workshop, Newcastle, UK.
July 2017: talk ‘The Dam Project: Philosophical Lessons from the Vajont Disaster’, The International Interdisciplinary Conference of Social Science, Hiroshima, Japan.
June 2017: ‘Risk, Local Knowledge and the role of Experts’, SILFS 2017, University of Bologna.
May 2017: invited talk ‘Scientific Experts and Local Knowledge’ (with P. Barrotta), workshop on ‘Expertise and Expert Knowledge’, University College Dublin.
May 2017: invited talk ‘Back to Basics: What does Evidence do (or does it not do) in EBPP?’, Worskop on 'Philosophical Issues in Evidence-Based Policy', University of Copenhagen, Research Group in Theoretical Philosophy.
December 2016: invited talk ‘The Dam Project: Who are the Experts?’ (with P. Barrotta), International Conference in Philosophy of Science (ICPOS), Lisbon.
November 2016: invited talk ‘The Dam Project: Who are the Experts?’, Local Knowledge: Expertise, Method, and Value panel, PSA Biennial Meeting, Atlanta USA.
October 2016: invited talk ‘Experts and Local Knowledge: Lessons from the Philosophy of Science’ (with P. Barrotta), 'Science and Democracy' conference, International Association for Scientific Controversies (IASC), University of Pisa.
September 2016: invited talk ‘The Dam Project: Who are the Experts?’, SIPS national conference (Societa’ Italiana di Scienza Politica), Università degli Studi, Milano.
May 2016, invited talk ‘Causal Modelling: Philosophy Meets Social Science’, Do philosophers and social scientists talk past each other? An inquiry regarding causality and method’ symposium, Department of Political Economy, King's College London.

Altre attività scientifiche

peer reviewer per le seguenti riviste:
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
British Journal of Sociology
European Journal for the Philosophy of Science (Member of Editorial Board)
Journal for Philosophical Research
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Social Science (Member of Editorial Board)
Social Epistemology
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science

co-organizer of annual international conference of ENPOSS (European Network of Philosophy of Social Science) and appointed member of ENPOSS steering committee - both since 2011.

Altre attività didattiche

January 2019: lecture ‘Nuovi percorsi in filosofia della scienza’, Liceo Scientifico Treviso (attività orientamento)
June 2019: chair and discussant at SILFS post graduate conference, University of Urbino.
October 2018: discussant at K4U workshop on ‘Structure’, CPNSS, LSE.
November 2018: organiser of ‘PISE Inaugural Lecture’, Nancy Cartwright, S. Giobbe, Venice; introduction and discussant to speaker
February-March 2018: organiser and chair of 'Topics in the Philosophy of Social Science' seminar series, Ca' Foscari (with international guests)
April-May 2017: organiser and chair of 'PISE Seminars 2017: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy of Social Science', Ca' Foscari.
February-March 2017: organiser and host of 'Philosophy of Social Science Special Talks 2017' (with international guests).
May 2016, invited lecture ‘Observation, Experimentation, Causation’, Summer School in Methods and Public Policies, Network for the Advancement of Social and Political Studies (NASP), Genoa.

Incarichi accademici e attività organizzative

2018-2020: project leader SPIN - Misura 2, 'Trust in Science'
2019-: founder and leader of departmental research centre 'TIS' (
2018-2019: organizer and chair of meetings and events aimed at constituting an international network to be involved in the submission of Horizon 2020 project proposals
2017-: convener for departmental teaching and research area 'Philosophy and History of Science' and organiser of induction events for prospective students.

Partecipazione alle attività di valutazione della ricerca

valutazione prodotti di ricerca per allocazione fondi ADIR di dipartimento (come membro di comitato ricerca DFBC)
parte del gruppo DFBC sottoposto a valutazione CEV

Componente di Collegi didattici, Comitati e Commissioni di Dipartimento, Commissioni di Ateneo

Membro del collegio didattico di Filosofia (2011-2016; rieletta da 2019).
Membro del collegio didattico ‘Philosophy International Studies and Economics’ degree (PISE) (da 2015).
Membro del collegio di dottorato, DFBC (da 2011).
Membro della Commissione Paritetica Docenti Studenti, DFBC (da 2016).
Delegato per l'internazionalizzazione, DFBC (2014-2016).
Membro Comitato Ricerca, DFBC (da 2016).
Delegato per l'orientamento, DFBC (da 2017).
Membro del comitato 'International Mobility' (2014-2017).
Membro comitato valutazione congedi per studio e ricerca (2014-2017).

Attività e incarichi esterni

co-leader of research stream 'Deliberating policies' for ERC project 'Knowledge for Use', (Durham/LSE/Ca' Foscari)
co-leader research programme 'Evidence for Use', Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics and Political Science
rapporteur for European Commission, Brussel, 2018.

Altre informazioni

Si evidenzia che causa imperfezioni del sistema rilevazione dati il progetto ERC 'Knowledge for Use' 2015-2020 erroneamente nella presente relazione non compare anche nella casella della ricerca finanziata (insieme allo SPIN). Per dettagli del finanziamento si rimanda alla scheda competenze del docente.