Pathways of Influence: Understanding the Impacts of Philosophy of Science in Scientific Domains
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Philosophy of science has the potential to improve scientific practice, science policy, and science education; moreover, recent research indicates that many philosophers of science think we ought to increase the broader impacts of our work. Yet, there is little to no empirical data on how we are supposed to have an impact. To address this problem, our research team interviewed 35 philosophers of science regarding the impact of their work in science-related domains. We found that face-to-face engagement with scientists and other stakeholders was one of the most – if not the most – effective pathways to impact. Yet, working with non-philosophers and disseminating research outside philosophical venues is not what philosophers are typically trained or incentivized to do. Thus, there is a troublesome tension between the activities that are likely to lead to broader uptake of one’s work and those that are traditionally encouraged and rewarded in philosophy (and which are therefore the most consequential for careers in philosophy). We suggest several ways that philosophers of science, either as individuals or as a community, can navigate these tensions.
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Kathryn S. Plaisance, Jay Michaud, John McLevey (2021). Pathways of Influence: Understanding the Impacts of Philosophy of Science in Scientific Domains. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18237