Category:Scientonomy Seminar

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The main goal of the scientonomy seminar is to scrutinize different aspects of our current scientonomic knowledge and formulate interesting open questions. As opposed to the workshop format, the seminar's primary objective is unearthing the drawbacks of our current scientonomic knowledge, i.e. understanding what does not work. While the seminar also often generates interesting ideas on how this or that problem can be solved, the primary outcome of the seminar is the list of open questions for future research.

The seminar is held annually at University of Toronto.


The seminar was first designed and run by Hakob Barseghyan in 2013. The first six editions of the seminar took place at the beginning of every calendar year and consisted of 10-12 discussion sessions.

Originally, the seminar attempted to accomplish the following two tasks:

  • scrutinizing various aspects of the current body of scientonomic knowledge and identifying its drawbacks;
  • generating ideas on how the theory can be improved by finding solutions to its topical issues.

Following the establishment of the scientonomic workflow in 2016, the focus of the seminar narrowed to the former task of identifying the pitfalls of the current theory and compiling a list of open questions for future research. As for finding answers to open questions, it was decided that the format of the seminar isn't well suited for it, as solutions to open problems require proper research papers. The workflow stipulates that only when a modification is published and recorded in the encyclopedia can the community evaluate it and decide whether it is acceptable.

If a question raised a sufficient level of interest or disagreement, it would be considered an open question. Clearly, this criterion was somewhat vague and not very strict; as a result, the list of open questions would sometimes include questions the answers to which could appear trivial. However, this was done on purpose; the assumption was that an occasional inclusion of a trivial question outweighed the risk of missing an important question. The seminar was run in this format for three years and four iterations (2016, 2017, 2018, 2018 Fall) and produced a sizable body of open questions.

While the number of open questions was steadily growing, not many of them would become topics of active research. Coupled with the fact that the scientonomy community had very limited resources, this practice resulted in the disproportionate growth of open questions compared to questions with accepted answers or question that were actively tackled. The number of open questions grew exponentially, while the number of questions actually tackled by the members of the community stayed at approximately the same level. As a result, the community was starting to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of open questions.

Consequently, in 2019, it was decided to change the format of the seminar and focus on producing publishable papers.

Here is the complete list of all scientonomy seminars:

Scientonomy Seminar 2013The first annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change11 January 20135 April 2013
Scientonomy Seminar 2014The second annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change10 January 20144 April 2014
Scientonomy Seminar 2015The third annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change9 January 201527 March 2015
Scientonomy Seminar 2016The fourth annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change15 January 20168 April 2016
Scientonomy Seminar 2017The fifth annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change6 January 201731 March 2017
Scientonomy Seminar 2018The sixth annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change11 January 201829 March 2018
Scientonomy Seminar 2018 FallThe seventh annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change6 September 201829 November 2018
Scientonomy Seminar 2019The eight annual IHPST seminar on the theory of scientific change5 September 201928 November 2019
Scientonomy Seminar 2020VIC Scientonomy Seminar Fall 202012 September 202010 December 2020


The goal and structure of scientonomy seminar explained by Hakob Barseghyan

The seminar currently takes place at the beginning of an academic year and pursues the following major tasks:

  • master the current body of scientonomic knowledge;
  • scrutinize the current body of scientonomic knowledge, unearth its drawbacks, and formulate open questions;
  • conduct scholarly research and present the findings in publishable research papers.

With its series of discussion, brainstorming, peer-reviewing, and co-writing activities, the present format of the seminar facilitates active research in the field and production of potentially publishable output. While the participants are still encouraged to formulate new open questions, the main goal of the seminar is to help the participants develop interesting research projects that address interesting questions and help advance our scientonomic knowledge.


As the format of the seminar is exportable, scientonomists throughout the world are encouraged to organize similar seminars where the participants can scrutinize the body of scientonomic knowledge, formulate new open questions, and produce potentially publishable content. If you need help with organizing a scientonomy seminar, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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Scientonomy Workshop

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This category uses the form Scientonomy_Seminar.