This book analyses the impact computerization has had on contemporary science and explains the origins, technical nature and epistemological consequences of the current decisive interplay between technology and science: an intertwining of formalism, computation, data acquisition, data and visualization and how these factors have led to the spread of simulation models since the 1950s.
Using historical, comparative and interpretative case studies from a range of disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the case of plant studies, the author shows how and why computers, data treatment devices and programming languages have occasioned a gradual but irresistible and massive shift from mathematical models to computer simulations.
Franck Varenne is Associate Professor of philosophy of science at the University of Rouen (Normandy – France) and associate researcher at IHPST (CNRS – Paris). His research focuses on the history and epistemology of formal models and computer simulations in contemporary science, especially in biology and geography. He has published around fifty-five articles and chapters. He has also published eight books and co-edited three collective books.