Over the last two decades, scholarship in science & technology studies (STS) has shown that successful research requires more than following a certain set of methods or learning particular skills and technical knowledge. Instead, scientific communities (from lab groups to professional societies) encourage their members to develop specific cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dispositions — that is, members are trained to think, feel, and act in certain ways in order to be successful researchers. I’m interested in using virtue theory to understand and analyze this aspect of scientific research, in part because that helps connect STS literature to promising new scholarship in ethics and epistemology.
Virtue theory forms an important part of my new project on economic expertise and democratic politics. But it is also at the center of a major new collaborative project in which was involved on “Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science.”
Relevant publications include: