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Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

  Email: ke@sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-3735
Fax: 803-777-9178
Curriculum vitae (pdf format)

Areas of Interest

  • Practical Ethics (Environmental, Biomedical, Scientific Research)
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Science and Values
  • Science and Religion

My research lies at the intersection of the philosophy of science and practical ethics. Many of my case studies involve controversial research topics in contemporary pollution research (e.g., hormesis, endocrine disruption, multiple chemical sensitivity, nanotoxicology) that are relevant to public policy. My current projects can be divided roughly into the following areas:

  • Investigation of the role and significance of values in scientific research, including implications for responding to conflicts of interest, disseminating controversial research results, and incorporating public involvement in science policy;
  • Research in environmental philosophy, including both environmental pragmatism and philosophical issues associated with the regulation of toxic chemicals;
  • Examination of the scientific discovery process, including “exploratory experimentation” as well as the nature and significance of scientific errors and anomalies.


Select Publications

Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

“Selective Ignorance and Agricultural Research,” Science, Technology, and Human Values 37 (2012): forthcoming.

(with Justin Weinberg) “Science, Expertise, and Democracy,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 22 (2012): forthcoming.

“Epistemic and Methodological Iteration in Scientific Research,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 43 (2012): 376-382.

(with David Volz) “Addressing Conflicts of Interest in Nanotechnology Oversight: Lessons Learned from Drug and Pesticide Safety Testing,” Journal of Nanoparticle Research 14 (2012): 664-668.

“Direct and Indirect Roles for Values in Science,” Philosophy of Science 78 (2011): 303-324.

(with Katherine Robinson) “Environmental Aesthetics and Public Environmental Philosophy,” Ethics, Policy, and Environment 14 (2011): 175-191.

(with Michael Dickson) “Distinguishing Risk and Uncertainty in Risk Assessments of Emerging Technologies,” in Torben Zulsdorf et al. (eds.), Quantum Engagements: Social Reflections of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies (Heidelberg: AKA Verlag, 2011), pp. 165-176.

“Geoengineering and the Precautionary Principle,” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (2010): 237-253.

“Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles, Energy Policy, and the Ethics of Expertise,” Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (2010): 376-393.

(with Maureen O'Malley and Richard Burian) “From Genetic to Genomic Regulation: Iterative Methods in miRNA Research,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (2010): 407-417.

(with Daniel McKaughan) “How Values in Discovery and Pursuit Alter Theory Appraisal,” Philosophy of Science 76 (2009 Proceedings): 598-611.

(with Maureen O'Malley, Chris Haufe, and Richard Burian) “Philosophies of Funding,” Cell 138 (2009): 611-615.

“Hormesis, Ethics, and Public Policy: An Overview,” Human and Experimental Toxicology 27 (2008): 659-662.

“A Case for Deliberation in Response to Hormesis Research,” Human and Experimental Toxicology 27 (2008): 529-538.

“Scientific Judgment and the Limits of Conflict-of-Interest Policies,” Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance 15 (2008): 1-29.

“Varieties of Exploratory Experimentation in Nanotoxicology,” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 29 (2007): 311-334.

“Norton’s Conception of Sustainability: Political Not Metaphysical?” Environmental Ethics 29 (2007): 3-22.

“An Ironic Reductio for a Pro-Life Argument: Hurlbut’s Stem Cell Proposal,” Bioethics 21 (2007): 99-111.

“The Anomaly of Chemical Hormesis: Shaping Environmental Science and Policy,” in D. Guston and D. Sarewitz (eds.) Shaping Science and Technology Policy: The Next Generation of Research. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006, pp. 124-148.

“A Novel Account of Scientific Anomaly: Help for the Dispute Over Low-Dose Chemical Effects,” Philosophy of Science (2006 Proceedings): 790-802.

“Toward an Ethics of Expertise Based on Informed Consent,” Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (2006): 637-661.

“Hormesis and Environmental Policy: An Ethical Analysis,” Public Affairs Quarterly 20 (2006): 31-53.

“Developmental Systems Theory and Human Embryos: A Response to Austriaco,” National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 5 (2005): 49-59.

“Error as Means to Discovery,” Philosophy of Science 71 (2004): 1-24.

“Conceptual Clarification and Policy-Related Science: The Case of Chemical Hormesis,” Perspectives on Science 8 (2000): 346-366.


The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of the page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of South Carolina.


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Last update: 11/29/2011 3:28 PM