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Department of Spatial Planning

RAM Colloquium with Simon Scheider

Begin: End: Location: GBIII/214 and online
Portrait photo of Simon Scheider © Simon Scheider​/​Utrecht University

Title: What is a spatio-temporal model good for? Validity as a function of purpose and the questions answered by a model

Time and venue: Friday, 26 January 2024, 9am CET; GBIII/214 and online on Zoom (hybrid)

Registration via: Google Forms

The Zoom link will be shared with all registered participants closer to the event.


The concept of validity is a cornerstone of science. Valid methods make science ”scientific”, while invalid methods are bound to deliver falsehoods. Given this central role in science, it is somewhat surprising to find that validity remains a rather obscure concept. In data-driven science, the question of validity is often reduced to a matter of ground truth data. In this talk, instead, I take a pragmatic approach to the validity of spatio-temporal models. I argue that such a model is valid only by delivering a valid answer to a particular kind of spatio-temporal question, corresponding to its information purpose.