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.

Three research projects currently are underway.

(1) Science Education and High School Science Fair – a survey-based study. The focus is on the high school science fair experience by high school and post‑high school students on STEM education trajectories, analyzing diverse topics ranging from research integrity to questions about the value of competitive vs. non-competitive models of science fair.

(2) Assessing Risk in Human Research – a survey-based and reflective study. The focus is on risk/benefit assessment in human research oversight by research ethics committees (IRB/RECs), analyzing whether the environmental risk-assessment approach known as post-normal science might improve ethics committee decision making.

(3) Peer-review and Discovery in Science – a historical and reflective study. The focus is on the peer-review process, which typically is thought of as serving a necessary but sometimes annoying gate-keeper function, but which could also serve an important but rarely discussed role in discovery when reviewer comments push an investigator to carry out previously unconsidered experiments that result in important new findings.