PhD course: Ignorance, Agnotology, and Uncertainty: Drivers for Doctoral Research

9 November 2022 - University of Copenhagen

Info about event


Wednesday 9 November 2022,  at 10:00 - 17:30


University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Room 6B.4.04 (Building 6B, 4 floor, Room 4)


The PhD School, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

The PhD School and Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies invite all PhD students within the discipline of jurisprudence to a course on

Ignorance, Agnotology, and Uncertainty: Drivers for Doctoral Research.

Course description

“It is very difficult to find a black cat in a dark room” an ancient proverb warns. “Especially when there is no cat”. Stuart Firestein likens scientific research to a collective fumbling and stumbling in the dark, a process that stands in stark contrast to the popular perception of the scientific method as a systematic search for knowledge. While this disjuncture is particularly sharp in scientific research, this picture also bleeds into research projects with legal, regulatory and governance challenges at their core. We are encouraged to define tight research questions that ‘fill in gaps’ in existing knowledge, whether these are wrought of new developments or revisit past debates. Yet, in the practice of pursuing such research, however, it often becomes clear that the compelling questions are different than those that served as the point of departure. ‘Adjacent possibles’ loom into view, and the research process refines ignorance into higher quality ignorance that yield further or more specific unknowns. The gap between what PhD projects are perceived to be, and what they prove to be in practice is often the source of anxiety for PhD candidates who feel that their projects are not ‘on track’.

Read more about the course (pdf)

Course Information

  • Time: 9 November 2022, 10:00-17.30
  • Venue: University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Room 6B.4.04 (Building 6B, 4 floor, Room 4). A guide on how to find Campus is available at our website via this link and a map of campus is available here
  • ECTS: 1
  • Wi-Fi: University of Copenhagen is connected to Eduroam, which allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions.
  • Registration: No later than 20 september 2022. 
  • Any questions about the course may be directed to Associate Professor Hin-Yan Liu: hin-yan.liu@jur.ku.dk