Truth and Evidence

‘What is truth and evidence?’


Tuesday 1 March 2022, 17:30. This panel saw the discussion of how truth and evidence may be dependent on context. Related issues envisioned in advance of the panel included how the kind of evidence required by a physicist or an historian to trust a hypothesis, or the type of evidence required by a lawyer to consider something beyond reasonable doubt, can differ. The potential for a more philosophical perspective, and even for the exploration of whether anything is irrefuable, was also envisaged.

Panel Speakers

Alumnus: Dr Chris Smyth

Chris Smyth studied Modern History at Lincoln College and later moved to Cambridge for an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History and a PhD in history on the perception of extraordinary natural events in eighteenth-century England. He then moved into journalism, working for the Financial Times in Brussels as a Nico Colchester Fellow and then The Times in London in roles including news reporter, letters editor, obituary writer and health editor. He is now Whitehall Editor based in Westminster, covering a wide range of issues, recently especially Covid, with a particular interest in the interface between politics and policy.

MCR Speaker: AnneMichaela MacDonald Brodaric

AnneMichaela is an alumna of the University of Toronto and current graduate student at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Criminology in the Faculty of Law. Her research focuses on race, law, and technology, looking at the ethical implications of emerging technologies and their capacity to bolster equity, or enable discrimination, in criminal justice. She currently works with the Oxford LawTech Education Programme and previously worked as a Strategic Initiatives Analyst at the Royal Bank of Canada’s Law Group.

Fellow: Dr Kimberly Palladino

An American, Kimberly grew up all over the Eastern US: Massachusetts to Virginia, graduating high school in Pennsylvania. She attended Princeton University as an undergraduate, and received her PhD from The Ohio State University in 2009 working in neutrino astronomy on the balloon experiment ANITA (and she travelled to McMurdo Station, Antarctica twice). Pivoting to research in dark matter detection, she has worked at MIT, SNOLAB in Canada, the SLAC National Accelerator Center in California, and as a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2015-2020) before coming to Lincoln. Dark matter research is highly speculative by its nature, and inherits both the evidentiary rigor of particle physics and the metaphysical implications of cosmology. She is also a mother to a 5-year-old and 2-year-old (who were planning on being pancake eating machines this March).

MCR Chair: Jack Norris

From Melbourne, Australia, Jack is studying for the MSc in Visual, Material, and Museum Anthropology, where his research focuses on Australian First Nations cultural material in the Pitt Rivers Museum. Prior to Oxford, Jack gained his undergrad at Melbourne’s Monash University and has since then worked professionally within museums and as an archaeologist, historian, and anthropologist back home in Australia.

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