Alan Chalmers

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Alan Chalmers
Born Alan Francis Chalmers
1939 (age 77–78)
Bristol, England
Fields Philosophy of science
Institutions University of Sydney
Alma mater
Known for What Is This Thing Called Science?
Influences Imre Lakatos

Alan Francis Chalmers (/ˈælmərz/; born 1939) is a British-Australian philosopher of science and associate professor at the University of Sydney.[1]


He was born in Bristol, England in 1939, and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics at the University of Bristol in 1961, and his Master of Science in physics from the University of Manchester in 1964. His PhD on the electromagnetic theory of James Clerk Maxwell[citation needed] was awarded by the University of London in 1971.


Chalmers went to Australia as a postdoctoral fellow in 1971 and worked for some years at the University of Sydney, first as a junior lecturer and later on as a senior lecturer. In 1986, he moved to the Science faculty as Director of the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science, a position he held until his retirement in 1999. He is currently an Honorary Associate Professor for this unit.

Chalmers was elected a fellow of the Academy of Humanities in 1997. He was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian government for ‘Services to the Humanities in the area of History and Philosophy of Science’. From 1999 to 2010, Alan Chalmers became a visiting scholar in the Department of Philosophy at Flinders University, and was also a visiting fellow in the Center of Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 2003 to 2004.[2]

His primary research interest is the philosophy of science and he is author of the best-selling textbook What Is This Thing Called Science? which has been translated into many languages.



  1. ^ Alam Chalmers Website at the University of Sydney
  2. ^ Alam Chalmers Website at the University of Pittsburgh
  3. ^ Open University Press and University of Minnesota Press, 1990, pp. 142+xii. (Translated into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese and Chinese.)
  4. ^ 3rd revised edition, University of Queensland Press, Hackett, 1999. (Originally published 1976; second edition: 1982.)
  5. ^ Review of What is this Thing Called Science?
  6. ^ Springer, 2009, pp. 288+xii.

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