Mechanisms in medicine

July 3-5 2017, Centre for Reasoning, University of Kent, Canterbury, UKmm

Keynote speakers

Raffaela Campaner (University of Bologna)
Daniel Commenges (Bordeaux Population Health Research Center)
Jeremy Howick (Oxford University)
Stathis Psillos (University of Athens)
Daniel Steel (The University of British Columbia)
Kurt Straif (International Agency for Research on Cancer)
John Worrall (London School of Economics)


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is a relatively recent technique for supporting clinical decisions by the current best evidence. While it is uncontroversial that we should use the current best evidence in clinical decision making, it is highly controversial as to what the best evidence is. EBM considers evidence from clinical trials, in particular, randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews of those trials, to be the best evidence. On the other hand, evidence of mechanisms that is obtained by means other than clinical trials is considered to be of low quality.

However, there is a growing body of literature that highlights the many benefits of considering evidence of mechanisms alongside evidence from clinical trials. For instance, evidence of mechanisms is crucial for interpreting clinical trials, establishing a causal claim, and extrapolating from the trial population to the treatment population.

This conference seeks to explore whether and in which ways evidence of mechanism may improve medical decision making. The conference will bring together philosophers and medical researchers.


3 July
9.00 Welcome
9.05-10.05 Invited speaker: Daniel Steel
10.15-11.15 Contributed speaker: Maria Jimenez-Buedo, Héctor Cebolla-Boado and Leire Salazar
11.15-12.15 Contributed speaker: Ashley Kennedy & Sarah Malanowski
13.30-14.30 Contributed speaker: Jonathan Fuller
14.30-15.30 Contributed speaker: Sarah Wieten
16.00-17.00 Invited speaker: John Worrall
20.00 Dinner

4 July
9.00-11.00 EBM+ Symposium
11.15-12.15 Invited speaker: Kurt Straif
13.30-14.00 Contributed speaker: Virginia Ghiara
14.00-14.30 Contributed speaker: Daniel Auker-Howlett
14.30-15.30 Contributed speaker: Elena Rocca
16.00-17.00 Invited speaker: Jeremy Howick
20.00 Dinner

5 July
9.00-10.00 Invited speaker: Daniel Commenges
10.15-11.15 Contributed speaker: Barbara Osimani & Roland Poellinger
11.15-12.15 Contributed speaker: Juergen Landes
13.30-14.30 Invited speaker: Rafaella Campaner
14.30-15.30 Contributed speaker: Maël Lemoine & Brendan Clarke
16.00-17.00 Invited speaker: Stathis Psillos
20.00 Dinner


Registration is free but compulsory. There are a limited number of places so please register early. Please register via email to


This conference is organised by Christian Wallmann on behalf of the Centre for Reasoning at the University of Kent and the EBM+ consortium. It is an activity of the project Evaluating evidence in medicine, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

For any queries please contact Christian Wallmann: