Reflecting On Science

Reflecting on What Doing Science Means

My research program consists of cross-disciplinary studies at the boundary between science and philosophy, attempting to articulate what doing science entails with the goal of informing science policy decisions and advancing science education and public understanding of science. My philosophical approach explores the assumptions and challenges implicit in practice.

Currently, two projects are underway.

Research Integrity in Science Fair

Matters relating to research integrity have become a major policy issue in the United States and worldwide. Instruction in research integrity became an NIH requirement in graduate education twenty-five years ago, but the factors that undermine research integrity remain poorly understood and best practices for promoting research integrity remain poorly developed. The purpose of this study is to understand better science fair as an early student experience in practice of science and to learn if problems with research integrity already are present as early as secondary school science fair.

Assessing Risk in Human Research

Accomplishing risk-based regulation of human research means effectively linking how risky a project is perceived to be for participants with the kind and extent of oversight by institutional review boards (IRBs) and other agencies. But problems from the inherent heterogeneity of human research: diversity of research protocols, variability of subjects, biases of IRB members, etc. Equally important, however, is the very framework used for risk assessment. The purpose of this study is to test a new framework for analyzing and discussing risk in human research using on the heuristic known as post-normal science