My research starts with the basic idea that there is more to the goals of science than just describing nature. I show how these goals influence scientific theories, concepts, and explanations.
I specialize in the philosophy of nanoscience. Nanoscience is a branch of chemistry and physics that has grown up around the development of practical technologies aimed at solving extra-scientific problems, including medical imaging and the energy crisis. To solve these problems, nanoscientists are synthesizing new materials with never-before-seen properties and using scientific reasoning to figure out how to manipulate and control these properties in new machines, devices, and medical therapies. As a philosopher of nanoscience, I examine the theories, models, reasoning strategies, and other conceptual tools that nanoscientists use to accomplish their goals, and I study how these conceptual tools can in turn reveal new information about the character of scientific knowledge.
I am an assistant professor in the department of Philosophy at The University of Kentucky, where I teach a variety of courses about the relationships between science and society, as well as philosophy of science, logic, and health care ethics. I completed my doctoral work in the department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, where I worked with Dr. Robert Batterman, a philosopher, and Dr. Jill Millstone, a nanochemist.