To Stanford!

I’m pleased to announce that on October 15th I will begin a SSHRC and NSF funded postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. My project will examine how innovations in data handling, sharing and analysis are changing the standards of evidence and organization of cognitive neuroscience. The project is jointly supervised by Drs Helen Longino (philosophy) and Russell Poldrack (psychology).

In addition to the important and timely topic, the method of research makes this project very exciting. I will be situated in the Poldrack lab for the tenure of the project, providing the opportunity to not only examine and observe the practices that I am studying the effects of, but also to directly impact them through critical and reflexive philosophical analyses!

Teaching Philosophy of Science with Games

I recently received a small grant from the American Association of Philosophy Teachers to support my project to design a flexible game system for teaching philosophy of science. Read more about it here.

Visiting University of Exeter and Data Science Group

I’ve arrived and am settled in Exeter for a 3 month visit with the Data Science Group http://www.datastudies.eu/ (hosted by Professor Sabina Leonelli). Getting ready for a productive and exciting three months researching and writing on meta-analyses, open data and database curation.

Teaching Philosophy of Science

The journal Teaching Philosophy has been doing an article series on Teaching Philosophy of X. The recent article, Teaching Philosophy of Science by Alexandra Bradner includes a reference to one of the outreach activities I designed and run for the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. The activity involves having middle-school students infer the rules of a board game (that I designed) from photographs and recordings of the game being played. The aim is to build an analogy to the practice of science and use that as a scaffold for introducing some basics philosophical concepts to the students.

The relevant excerpt is here:

“I hosted an Interest Group Lunch on the teaching of philosophy of science at the Fall 2014 Philosophy of Science Association Biennial Meeting in Chicago, where I learned about two experiments in active learning conducted by the graduate students at Western University in London, Ontario. Melissa Jacquart discussed a course in which in-structors use laboratory experiments to attract scientists to philosophy. Jessey Wright described a lesson in which he asks students to observe a situation and glean the “rules,” on the rationale that this is similar to what scientists must do to uncover laws. He noted that while middle school students were able to complete the task, his fellow graduate students had trouble.”

And you can find the full paper here.

The “How to Teach X” series is a great way to get a running head-start on designing a course.

My research occurs the intersection of philosophy of science and neuroscience. Innovations in data handling, analysis, and sharing are major drivers of progress in neuroimaging research. This, combined with a recent surge in databases and tools for sharing and analyzing neuroimaging data, has raised a number of question that my research aims to address:

What role does data manipulation and analysis play in the production of scientific knowledge? How are new technologies for sharing, organizing, and analyzing data and theories changing the norms of evidence in neuroimaging research? How are these technologies bringing research communities, theories, data and analysis techniques together in novel ways? What role do different data analysis techniques play in using data as evidence for claims about phenomena it was not produced to investigate? How does the use of new technologies change the way cognitive scientists interpret the data they work with?

My approach to addressing these questions is informed by the day-to-day practice of neuroscience, and as such I am an active member the Poldrack Lab at Stanford University, and work closely with the neuroscientists who use and develop the tools and technologies that I study the impact of.