The Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering

Dan Hicks

Dan HIcks

Postdoctoral Fellow
Rotman Institute of Philosophy
Western University



Dan Hicks is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, at Western University in Ontario.  He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 2012.
Hicks’ research deals with philosophy of science and political philosophy, and especially the intersection of the two. He is generally interested in what might be called the political economy of science: the ways in which science, as a productive activity, is socially organized and interacts with other kinds of activities and organizations (social movements, the state, the market, etc.). His primary long-term project involves an account of science as a social practice, drawing on the work of the ethicist Alasdair MacIntyre, and (based on this) distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate kinds of influence on science. Hicks’ intellectual interests extend to basically any topic that touches on this project, including collective agency and responsibility; ethical analyses of capitalism and liberalism; feminist philosophy, especially care ethics and philosophy of science; philosophy of social science, especially economics; science communication and science policy; and the history of philosophy of science.
Hicks’ current project deals with the scientific and public controversies over genetically modified organisms [GMOs].  He’s working on a set of papers that examine the rival sets of evidence put forward to support/challenge the claim that GMOs increase crop yields, and discusses these rival evidence sets in terms of epistemology (a version of underdetermination), ethics (trustworthiness), and political philosophy (public reason and depoliticization).  He’s presented some of this work at interdisciplinary conferences, including the Iowa State Science Communications Symposium and at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.