Pablo Ruiz de Olano is a historian and philosopher of modern physics with broader interests in the circumstances that promote, or fail to promote, the production of scientific knowledge. He holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Notre Dame, and he has held postdoctoral appointments at Notre Dame and at the University of Salzburg.
His research explores the historical trajectory followed by the discipline of high-energy physics: from its inception during the 1950s and 1960s to its present, sometimes controversial state. Pablo’s analysis of this period revolves around two related themes. The first one concerns the crucial role that approximation methods played during the foundation of the discipline, while the second one relates to the progressive detachment of theory from experiment that came to dominate the field after the mid-1970s. By combining insights from these two lines of research, Pablo sheds new light on the status of theories such as String Theory, and on the current state of high-energy physics as a whole. This, in turn, allows Pablo to engage with the broader questions of crisis and decline in science.
While at the Institute, Pablo has taken an active role in the organization and coordination of various cross-departmental activities. These include the organization of the Institute’s Colloquium in the academic years 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2023-2024, and of the Tacit Knowledge Seminar from 2018 to 2020. Pablo has also taught courses at the University of Notre Dame, at TU Berlin, and at the University of the Basque Country where he has taken up PhD student supervision.
Edited Volumes and Special Issues
Ruiz de Olano, Pablo (2023). “Confirmation, or Pursuit-Worthiness? Lessons From J. J. Sakurai’s 1960 Theory of the Strong Force for the Debate on Non-empirical Physics.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 99: 77–88. https://doi.org/10.1016…Read More
Ruiz de Olano, Pablo, James D. Fraser, Rocco Gaudenzi, and Alexander S. Blum (2022). “Taking Approximations Seriously: The Cases of the Chew and Nambu-Jona-Lasinio Models.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 93: 82–95. https://doi.org/10…Read More
Ruiz de Olano, Pablo (2017). “Intimate Connections: Symmetries and Conservation Laws in Quantum versus Classical Mechanics.” Philosophy of Science 84 (5): 1275–1288. https://doi.org/10.1086/694108.Read More
Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities
iHPS Seminar, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
Nordic Network for Philosophy of Physics: Workshop on Mathematics in Physics
University of Oslo, Norway
Seminario Abierto de Filosofía
University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
27th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA 2020/2021)
History for Physics: Quantum Gravity
Workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
Beyond the Standard Model: Historical-Critical Perspectives
Workshop at the Galileo Galilei Institute
26th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association (PSA 2018)
3rd International Conference on the History of Physics of the EPS
1st Irvine-Munich-PoliMi-Salzburg Conference in Philosophy and Foundations of Physics (IMPS 2018)
19th UK and European Conference on Foundations of Physics (Foundations 2018)