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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 ScienceContinue 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 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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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.

Pierre Duhem

The alleged (epistemic) connection between intellectual virtues and scientific practice has generated an interesting debate in the history and philosophy of science. To put it very simply, the contentious issue is on whether in order to be a good scientist you need to be virtuous too. The debate stemmed from Pierre Duhem’s idea that moral qualities of some sorts (like virtues) are necessary even in science, which is usually considered as a merely epistemic enterprise. In particular, in his book German Science – Some Reflections on German Science: German Science and German Virtues, Continue Reading »

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I Wonder as I Wander

About the Author: Emily Dumler-Winckler is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science project. She specializes in moral theology, with a particular interest in virtue, moral psychology, aesthetics, ascetic practices, politics, and social change in the modern era.

 This article originally appeared on Princeton Theological Seminary’s Institute for Youth Ministry Blog. As part of the IYM series on science, this article was made possible by Science for Youth Ministry in association with Luther Seminary and the John Templeton Foundation.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the earth’s most famous selfie. In 1990 the Voyager spacecraft took a photo from more than 3.7 billion miles away, in which the earth appears as a “pale blue dot” barely visible to sight. You may have to squint to see it. If gazing at the night sky does not arouse wonder at the expansive universe, at the earth’s relatively minuscule status, this photo might help.

The scientist Carl Sagan famously and poetically captured the moment, “Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. 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.

Image from giantmicrobes.com

Before the Christmas holidays I attended a lunch event as part of my ethnographic work on the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science project. As in most gatherings of this kind, there was a gift exchange that took place amongst the approximately 15 life scientists in attendance. Continue Reading »

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