Research seminar 2020/2021

New seminar series: Translating validity in psychiatric research

The question of whether psychiatry can be a scientific discipline has been focussed around the concept of validity since the 1950s. Yet, there is no consensus on the meaning of validity. This has sparked a vivid methodological and philosophical debate on clarifying the theoretical underpinnings of validity in the empirical sciences in general and psychiatry in particular. On the one side, a lot of attention has been given to the limitations of searching for consensus on protocols, operationalization and standardized vocabularies in biological psychiatry, which have proliferated with the internationalization of psychiatric research. On the other side, in research practices, validity is used as an “umbrella term” to refer to several procedures and measurements. The extent to which the plethora of commonly used validator criteria refer to the same constructs is not clear. This problem becomes even more apparent when results are extrapolated and compared across contexts and languages.

This seminar series, co-organized by the “Philosophy of Clinics in Neuroscience and Psychiatry” Research Group, led by Steeves Demazeux at the Université de Bordeaux-Montaigne, and the Max Planck Research Group “Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences”, led by Lara Keuck at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, brings together philosophers, historians, and researchers in psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience to discuss how validity has been conceptualized and translated within psychiatric research.
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The zoom sessions of the research seminar are registered and uploaded on the “documents” page. Write to to receive the password