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.
This year, I am one of three professors organizing a year-long series of public events on campus around the theme of Civics and Citizenship in the 21st Century. Click here to find out more about this program, which we call Keys to Our Common Future.
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.