December 07, 2017 | News | News

Rostock Retreat on Causality

In July 2018 the Rostock Retreat on Causality will bring together methodological and applied researchers to discuss causal reasoning, methods for causal inference, as well as applications in empirical research. Applications are accepted until February 28.

The Rostock Retreat is an innovative format for scholarly exchange that is designed to encourage communication and collaboration on specific themes in a relaxed atmosphere. The first  Rostock Retreat on Data Visualization, which took place in June 2017, was a great success and therefore the decision was made to continue this format.

The second Retreat will focus on causal inference and will convene July 2-4, 2018, at the MPIDR. The main goal of the 2018 Rostock Retreat is to bring together methodologists and applied researchers from all population and social sciences, and to foster the use of formal approaches and formal reasoning to assess causal relationships.

Causality is fundamental to the scientific endeavor. However, the different scientific fields that are interrelated with demography, such as sociology, epidemiology, economics, and philosophy, all approach causal inference in their own way. “Each field can learn from the others, but communication across disciplinary boundaries is relatively rare. The Rostock Retreat will cross these boundaries, and should result in some exciting methodological cross-pollination”,  says MPIDR research scientist Maarten Bijlsma, one of the organizers of the retreat. 

The Retreat is built around the most active and hotly debated research methods in causal inference. The organizers emphasize the wish to bring together well established researchers as well as young scientists: “The Retreat is open for scientists at every level. We encourage researchers from all disciplines to apply, as sophisticated methods for causal inference are becoming more and more the expectation in many fields”, says co-organizer and MPIDR research scientist Christian Dudel.

The organization team has already set up a program consisting of series of keynotes, lectures on different perspectives on causality, and group activities. The keynote speakers, who are leading experts in their field, are Miguel Hernán, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Cambridge, USA, Andrea Weber, of the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary and Stephen Morgan, from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA.

Before the retreat, a course on causal inference, taught by Ilya Shpitser from the John Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, Baltimore, USA will take place within the framework of the International Advanced Studies in Demography school (IDEM). Participants of the workshop can also apply for this course and will have privileged access.

The deadline for applications is February 28. More information about the application and the Retreat can be found here, and more information about the IDEM course can be found here.

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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.