In my research, I am mainly concerned with the interaction of science (including technology and medicine) with values (including ethics, politics, and culture.) My work in philosophy of science and science studies is thus mainly concerned with the interactions of science and ethics, politics, and policy. I am especially concerned to uncover the ways in which science is a value-laden enterprise, the impact of the value-ladenness of science on our conception of the role of science in policy, and the parallels between scientific and technological, ethical and political inquiries.
My work in philosophy of science is strongly engaged with the history of philosophy of science, particularly with the work of John Dewey and Paul Feyerabend, who, among other things, were two early significant defenders of a radical view of science as value-laden.
My conception of philosophy of science is that it should be the analysis of scientific practice rather than merely scientific theories and reports. (Of course, theories, theory construction, and theory choice are all central elements of scientific practice.) As philosophers of science, we should be engaged with the history of science and contemporary scientific practice, and thus in dialogue with science studies. In my own work, I am engaged with scientific practice in two long-term projects:
- History of Science: Case study on the psychology of William Moulton Marston (and related figures).
- Contemporary science: Studying research teams using methods of distributed and situated cognition and cognitive ethnography.
This later work is inspired by similar work by Nancy Nersessian and Edwin Hutchins, and is part of our National Science Foundation funded grant project, Engineering Ethics as an Expert Guided and Socially Situated Activity.
In addition to this work in philosophy, history, and social studies of science, I am also interest in the role of culture in science, particular in psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. In my view, human cognition is a deeply cultural phenomenon, and human culture is in part a cognitive phenomenon.