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About the Author: Emanuele Ratti  is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science Project. He is a philosopher of biology interested in the epistemology of contemporary molecular biology with a particular focus on how the field is shaped by developments from a small-science regime to a big-science structure.

Aristotle

 When we think about virtue ethics, the Aristotelian tradition naturally comes to mind. The revival of virtue theories in contemporary ethics is usually seen as an attempt to reinterpret the moral theories of Aristotle and subsequent commentators (such as Thomas Aquinas) Continue Reading »

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About the Author: Dori Beeler is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developing Virtues in Scientific Practice project. She is an anthropologist whose interests include spirituality, medical science and expertise, well-being, and ethnography.

Photo: Dori Beeler

I am a social scientist, embedded in a Molecular Biology lab with a Biohazard Safety Level 2 (BSL 2) rating where I am conducting ethnography and contributing to the efforts of the lab. Sometimes this entails doing PCR amplification, purification and E. coli transformation, and sometimes it means doing mundane work, like filling pipette tip boxes that sit empty on everyone’s bench. Not even the lab scientists enjoy doing this work; it is a chore not a joy, and this is why empty tip boxes can sit forgotten in a large stack over time. Filling tip boxes does not involve knowing experimental protocols or actual science. It is merely the act of keeping productivity in the lab in a continual flow of progress, however conceived. Continue Reading »

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About the Author: Adam Willows is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Human Distinctiveness Project. He is a theologian who specializes in philosophical theology, with particular interests in normative ethics, virtue, free will theory, and philosophy of religion.

Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account (Eccl 3:15).

As I write this, it is now. I am at a particular place in time. As you read this, it is also now. Your now is as unreachable to me as mine is to you. Continue Reading »

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About the Author: Timothy Reilly is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science Project. He is a developmental psychologist whose work draws from a variety of approaches, including positive psychology, moral development, sociocultural theory, and action theories of development.

Aristotle emphasized the relation of particular social roles, or vocations, to particular virtues. For instance, soldiers should have the virtue of courage. Similarly, justice is central to involvement in politics. What about science? Are there virtues particular to being a good scientist? Continue Reading »

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About the Author: Emanuele Ratti is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science Project. He is a philosopher of biology interested in the epistemology of contemporary molecular biology with a particular focus on how the field is shaped by developments from a small-science regime to a big-science structure.

http://www.princeton.edu/~fraassen/

We talk about science on a daily basis, but we rarely qualify in detail what we mean by ‘science’. This is the kind of issue that interests philosophers. My impression is that today most philosophers would subscribe to some version of the disunity of science thesis. In a nutshell, this holds that there is not such a thing called Science—let’s say a core method, or a toolbox—that unifies all the special sciences. Continue Reading »

About the Author: Nathaniel Warne is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science project. He is a philosophical and systematic theologian who works across a range of classic Christian doctrines with a special focus on the doctrine of humanity.

At the beginning of Mark McIntosh’s great book Divine Teaching, he asks us to imagine that we are researchers and that the object of our research is a very interesting character. Our object of study is nocturnal, takes long walks, and will only talk with you over large meals of fresh mussels. Continue Reading »

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About the Author: Louise Bezuidenhout is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science Project. As a biologist and social scientist, her current research focuses on empirical ethics and uses sociological techniques to investigate ethical issues within the life sciences.

Photo by Mackenzie Cowell; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The last decade has challenged common understandings of where and by whom scientific research can (or should) be conducted. Citizen science projects are contributing in disciplines ranging from astronomy to zoology. The DIYBio movement, founded in 2008, has seen the establishment of community-run molecular biology laboratories in urban spaces. Citizen programs such as PatientLikeMe are contributing to—and collaborating with—academic researchers on a number of different diseases. Continue Reading »

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