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Knowledge for Use (K4U)

Knowledge for Use (K4U)

Knowledge for Use (K4U) is an innovative, interdisciplinary and multi-institutional ERC funded research project that weaves together six case studies and two research streams. The case studies and the research streams work collaboratively to develop evidence and theory to help fortify policies.


Nancy Cartwright awarded 2017 Lebowitz Prize alongside Elliott Sober

We are delighted to announce that CHESS co-Director Prof Nancy Cartwright has been awarded the 2017 Martin R. Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, alongside Elliott Sober.

Established in 2012, the Lebowitz Prize is in honour of the late Martin R. Lebowitz, a distinguished philosophical critic. Winners of the prize have to be two philosophers with conflicting views on the same subject.

Cartwright and Sober are known for their work in the philosophy of science and they will present their views at an annual Lebowitz symposium at an APA divisional meeting and at a public lecture. The topic will be, "Is there such a thing as the scientific method?”

Full details can be found at

(4 May 2017)

New Publication: Improving Child Safety: deliberation, judgement and empirical research


Munro, E., Cartwright, N., Hardie, J. and Montuschi, E. (2017) Improving Child Safety: deliberation, judgement and empirical research. Durham: Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS)

[Produced as part of the ERC funded Knowledge for Use (K4U) Research Project]

This publication is available online now and paperback copies will be available soon. To request a copy and for more information, please email

(23 Feb 2017)

About the Project - Making the Most of Social Science to Build Better Policies

When it comes to social policy, we don't really know how to put our research results to use. K4U investigates how to remedy this. It aims to construct a radically new picture of how to use social science to build better social policies and to attack specific social challenges in its six case study domains.

Knowledge for Use is a five-year research project funded by an 'Advanced Grant' of just over two million euros from the European Research Council under Horizon 2020 . 'Research is an investment in our future’ says Horizon 2020. That’s only true if you know what to do with the research. K4U's two broad research streams study both how use research to build better social policies -- ones that are more fair and more reliable -- and how to deliberate about them. The approach is broadly Popperian: the proof of an idea is in what it says about real cases. K4U looks specifically at special problems facing international HIV-AIDs policies, UK child welfare, EU mental health, the reconfiguration of the UK health service, occupational health, work and well-being and climate services in a period of climate change.

The project started in November 2015 and is a collaboration between Durham University (Department of Philosophy and School of Applied Social Sciences), LSE (Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science - CPNSS and Department of Social Policy), and Università Ca' Foscari Venezia (Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage). It brings together a team of top researchers and experts with both philosophical and practical expertise.

Contact Details

Department of Philosophy
Durham University
50 Old Elvet, Durham

Tel: 0191 3346049
Fax: 0191 3346551