Who We Are

elisabethsimbuerger —  November 11, 2011 — 1 Comment

Nathan Bell, University of North Texas, USA xnathanbellx@gmail.com
Dr. Thomas Basbøll, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark tb.lpf@cbs.dk
Dr. Jim Collier, Virginia Tech, USA jim.collier@vt.edu
Emma Craddock, University of Warwick, UK emmacraddock1@gmail.com
William Davis, Virginia Tech, USA widavis@vt.edu
Dr. Marianne DeLaet, Harvey Mudd College, USA Marianne_DeLaet@hmc.edu
Dr. Susan Dieleman, York University, Canada scd@yorku.ca
Dr. Martin Evenden, National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan, evendenmartin@hotmail.com
Dr. Melinda Fagan, Rice University, USA mbf2@rice.edu

Dr. Steve Fuller, University of Warwick, UK S.W.Fuller@warwick.ac.uk
Janja Komljenovič, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, janja.komljenovic@guest.arnes.si
Dr. Stephen Norrie, University of Warwick, UK sjenorrie@gmail.com
Melissa Orozco, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Mexico meg_orozco@hotmail.com
Dr. Verusca Reis, Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Brasil verusca.reis@gmail.com
Dr. Francis Remedios,  Independent Researcher, Canada francisxr28@gmail.com
Adam Riggio, McMaster University, Canada adamriggio@gmail.com
Dr. Gregory Sandstrom, European Humanities University, Lithuania gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com
Dr. Elisabeth Simbürger*, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile, elisabeth.simburger@mail.udp.cl

(*Social Epistemology On-Line Editor)

Short Biographies

Dr. Steve Fuller

In recognition for his foundational work in the field of social epistemology, Steve Fuller has been appointed to the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology (2011). Professor Fuller, who has been Professor of Sociology at Warwick since 1999, founded the first journal and published the first book on social epistemology in the late 1980s.

‘Social epistemology’ is an interdisciplinary field that brings the resources of the humanities and the social sciences to bear on philosophical and policy questions concerning the production of knowledge. The chair is named after the French philosopher who coined the word ‘sociology’ in the early 19th century to refer to a project very much like today’s social epistemology. (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/news/warwickpeople/steve_fuller_social_epistemology/)

Homepage: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/~sysdt/Index.html

Dr. James Collier

August in Blacksburg, Virginia
Jim Collier is an Associate Professor of English, and an Affiliated Faculty Member in the Department of Science, Technology and Society and in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought, at Virginia Tech. He is the Executive Editor of Social Epistemology. With his editorship of the journal in 2009, he has focused on questions regarding the future conduct of social epistemology. He sees social epistemology as a normative basis for making critical judgments about academic inquiry and, as a consequence, as a means for developing knowledge policy. Earlier work involved the rhetoric of science and scientific and technical communication.

Dr. Elisabeth Simbürger

   Elisabeth Simbürger is the current online-editor of the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (July 2011 – July 2012). She is a Research Fellow at the Centro de Políticas Comparadas en Educación at the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile and a part-time lecturer at the Escuela de Sociología of the same university and the Escuela Militar of the Chilean Army. Elisabeth’s research focuses on the idea of the university and its discourses in Higher Education, geared towards a critique of the neoliberal university and its impact on academic work and the intellectual development of disciplines. She is particularly interested in visual epistemologies and has recently carried out a visual ethnography of Higher Education advertisement in public spaces (metro) in Santiago. Between October 2011 and October 2014 Elisabeth is carrying out research on academic identities and practice in neoliberal contexts of Chilean Higher Education, looking at the disciplines of sociology, education and biology (funded by the Chilean National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (Fondecyt)).

Elisabeth studied sociology at the universities of Vienna, Bielefeld and Warwick. She holds a Mag. in sociology from the University of Vienna, Austria and an MA in Comparative Labour Studies and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick, UK.  Her thesis (supervised by Steve Fuller) was about British sociology and sociologists and how they practise or compromise their own disciplinary aspirations as sociologists.

Homepage: http://udp.academia.edu/ElisabethSimbuerger/About

Dr. Thomas Basbøll

Thomas Basbøll receieved his PhD in 2004. His dissertation was about what Steve Fuller has called “the profound ambivalence of Western philosophers towards the equation of knowledge and power”. Believing that he has overcome this ambivalence, at least in his own case, he has been working as a “resident writing consultant” at the Copenhagen Business School more or less ever since. He thinks of himself as a practicing social epistemologist in a rigorous sense: not holding an academic post himself, he helps academics situate their knowledge in their respective discourses, i.e., he helps them meet the demand to “publish or perish”. Thomas may one day return to academia, and does do some critical scholarship on the side, but so far he is happy to think of himself as a modern-day, professionalized Socrates: a midwife, or at least handmaid, to the sciences.

Nathan Bell

Nathan Bell is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas. He holds a MA in Philosophy from UNT, as well as a Bachelor of Science, with majors in Philosophy and Business Administration, from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at UNT, and has previously been a Research Assistant for the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity. Much of his work focuses on environmental hermeneutics and narrative, including a hermeneutic conception of envrionmental identity and how it mutually influences and is influenced by various elements of media and society.

He is particularly interested in using hermeneutic and narrative theories to look at how different disciplines and different modes of knowledge production interact and influence/are influenced by society and culture.

Emma Craddock

Emma Craddock graduated in 2010 with a first class undergraduate degree from the University of Warwick in sociology. She has since been awarded ESRC 1+3 funding to do a Masters in Research Methods in sociology followed by a PhD in Sociology. As part of the MA, Emma is taking a philosophy of research module during which she will be encountering many of the complicated concepts involved in the field of social epistemology. The focus of her PhD will be the ways in which political activist groups in Nottingham (UK) have utilised the internet in order to mobilise their opinion against public spending cuts. As part of this she intends to explore how political involvement has transformed with the rise of new technology and how specifically a local public sphere has been constructed via the use of new media. This will also involve contrasting ‘new’ media with ‘old’ media, in terms of their influence on the public sphere and political opinions. She is also interested in research concerning the position of and the future of humanity as a concept, as well as the sociology of religion and the social theory of the enlightenment and secularisation. In her undergraduate dissertation, she studied the (in her eyes, problematic) relationship between the British Humanist Association (BHA) and the New Atheist movement, looking at the (clashing) intellectual backgrounds of both and interviewing the chief executive of the BHA as part of this. She has also written a textbook review for the Times Higher Education magazine in May 2010. Emma is looking forwards to learning from the other members of the collective and to being challenged by complex ideas and theories.

William Davis

William Davis is a graduate student in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Virginia Tech University. He received his B.A. in Literature from Virginia Tech where he also minored in philosophy. He completed an M.A. in Literature from Northern Arizona University, but since then has strayed from that part of the humanities.

His acquaintance with STS began when he was teaching in Mexico City (2006-8) and met colleagues who were pursuing degrees in a related area and who introduced him to some authors in the field. As he began reading essays and articles by Albert Borgman, Andrew Feenberg, Langdon Winner and Carl Mitcham, he was fascinated by how technology, broadly construed, affects epistemology and what it means, generally speaking, to know something. His focus at Virginia Tech has been specifically on subjects as philosophy of science, philosophy of technology and most recently on the relationship of knowledge and expertise in the sciences and other disciplines. Of particular interest are issues of governance through forms of states, institutions, as well as other communities, and their implications for disciplines like the sciences, philosophy and sociology.

A specific example of a concerning question is: What is the role of the academic in public debate, and how should we (people in general) make judgments about issues that affect numerous heterogeneous stakeholders? Trust clearly plays a large role in this negotiation, but how do we reach this when we start from such varied positions and have seemingly (or, perhaps, actually) conflicting goals? William is giving special attention to the conflicting views regarding social epistemology provided over the last 25 years by Steve Fuller and Alvin Goldman.

Dr. Marianne de Laet

Marianne de Laet is an anthropologist/STS person who teaches (about) practices of knowing at a small liberal arts college for science and engineering in southern California. As an anthropologist of knowledge-making practices, she studies scientists and engineers-in-the-making. One might say that at Harvey Mudd College, she lives with her tribe.

Marianne’s (research) life has brought her into the spheres of knowing and knowledge-making in anthropology and astronomy, intellectual property and appropriate technology, extremely large telescopes, training practices in dogs athletes and scientists, and, currently, the conjunction of tasting and knowing in the eating body. In her personal life (inasmuch as personal and research can be separated) she lives with a person and two very large dogs, who will all show up, periodically, in her posts, as they all have tremendous influence on her work. She is very interested in collaboration, collaboratories, collective authorship, and communal imaginations and in her view and experience such collaborations are not limited to those among humans.

Among the many courses she offers is a new one, called “thinking about knowing,” which has to be further developed — having fallen into the trap of making it too much like a traditional epistemology 101 course in its first rendering. Marianne would like to direct it towards thinking and knowing as collaborative action rather than the concentrated effort of the individual genial mind.

Website:  http://www2.hmc.edu/~delaet/index.htm

Dr. Susan Dieleman

Susan Dieleman received her PhD in Philosophy from York University, Canada, in 2011. Her areas of specialization are feminist philosophy and pragmatism, and her dissertation focused on the ways Richard Rorty’s discursive theory of social progress is useful for feminist theory and activism, in particular with regards to the problem of what she terms “epistemic exclusion.” In her current research, she expands the scope of the pragmatist feminist approach she developed in her dissertation and in her recent publications to interrogate and develop issues that arise at the intersections of social epistemology, deliberative democracy, and philosophy of public policy. Some questions that reside at the intersections of these three areas that she is interested to pursue include: Should public deliberation contribute to public policy decisions and, if so, how? How can we navigate the tensions between democracy and expertise? What is the epistemic role of diversity and inclusion in policy decision-making? What are the philosophical underpinnings of disagreement and its resolution? What is the function of testimony and trust in developing and implementing public policy? Susan is currently working toward an MA in Public Policy and Administration at Ryerson University, Canada, to help her explore and develop answers to these questions.

Dr. Martin Evenden

Martin Evenden finished his PhD in Sociology at the University of Warwick in 2010, which combined the insights of Spinoza and critical realism (the British philosophical movement associated with the work of Roy Bhaskar) in focusing on the nature of freedom and selfhood. Currently, his main interests lie in how knowledge can be positively used to have emancipatory effects at the level of and be made more accessible to the individual, critical rationalism (in particular issues that inform judgemental rationality – which explanations are better on the balance of existing evidence) and issues pertaining to reflexivity.

Dr. Melinda Fagan

Melinda Bonnie Fagan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rice University.  Her research focuses on biomedical experimental practice and philosophical conceptions of objectivity and evidence.  Before joining the Rice philosophy faculty in 2007, she studied History and Philosophy of Science (Ph.D. 2007, Indiana University), Philosophy (M.A. 2002, University of Texas at Austin) and Biology (B.A. 1992, Williams College; Ph.D. 1998, Stanford University).  Her research in biology focused on colonial organisms (plants and protochordates) and evolution of histocompatibility.  At Rice, she teaches courses in philosophy of science, theory of knowledge and social epistemology.  Her current research is on philosophy of stem cell biology, with emphasis on experimental evidence for models of biological development, and the role of collaborative interaction in biomedical research.  She has authored over a dozen journal articles and book chapters, and is currently writing a book about stem cell research (see http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~mbf2/ for links to articles and CV).

Janja Komljenovič

(Photo: Zeljko Stevanic, IFP d.o.o)         Janja Komljenovič holds a degree (University Diploma in Psychology) from University of Ljubljana. Soon she became interested in higher education and works in the field from two perspectives for several years: policy and research.

Her policy and practical work began already while she was a student representative being involved in national and European higher education policy making, especially in the Bologna process and quality assurance in higher education. After graduating she was employed at the European University Association where she made a study on higher education financing in Europe and contributed to several others projects. Between 2009 and 2011 she was an advisor to the Minister of higher education, science and technology where she was involved in national policy making. Her main accomplishments were work on legislative changes for quality assurance in higher education (2009) and National Programme for Higher Education 2011-2020 (2010-2011). She was also national representative to the Bologna Follow-up Group and EQAR. Now she is employed at the University of Ljubljana working on institutional development and quality.

The higher education field caught also her academic attention and she returned to the university. Currently she is a PhD Student in Education Policy and works as a part-time researcher at the Centre for Educational Policy Studies, University of Ljubljana. There she is a part of a research project team on “Differentiation, equity and productivity in expanded higher education systems – an internationalization perspective”. Her PhD is on ‘idea of a university’ and university autonomy mentored by Pavel Zgaga (University of Ljubljana) and co-mentored by Steve Fuller (University of Warwick).

Her research interests are mainly: concept of a university, university autonomy, the role of universities in modern society and new circumstances for higher education. She is particularly looking into a university as an institution where old expectations (such as knowledge production and institutional support replacing genetic social reproduction) and new expectations (corporate university and world class initiative) clash.

Dr. Stephen Norrie

Stephen Norrie has several degrees in sociology from two UKuniversities (York and Warwick), and is currently reworking his PhD thesis into publishable form. His intellectual project concerns the reconstruction of social theory and political action through a re-examination of the Marxist idea of an Aufhebung of philosophy, a methodology which he considers closely connected to a reflection on the connection between forms of thought and their institutional locus, leading to an interest in theory of the university as an important political site, especially in relation to a reconstructed theory of socialism. His thought can be located in the tradition of evaluating Marxism relative to its German Idealist spawning ground, as exemplified by the work of Georg Lukács, and continued (though with every step forward matched by at least one backwards) by the Frankfurt School. He has also been influenced by Alvin Gouldner’s reflexive sociology and ‘Marxist’ critique of Marxism, Roy Bhaskar’s ‘critical realism’, Descartes’ theory of method, neo-Trotskyism and other recent developments in Marxist theory, neo-Durkheimian theories of ritual, and Foucault’s work on material practices—and would like to find time for a fresh look at Freud. The underlying aim of his work is to expose the current institutional barriers which prevent apparently critical knowledges from serving the cause of genuine social enlightenment and the organisation of effective alternatives to a capitalist system that, far from exhibiting the ‘smartness’ of markets lauded by neoliberals, instead increasingly approximates the brainless lurches of a zombie haplessly wandering towards inevitable splattery annihilation, simply because it doesn’t know how to do anything else.

Melissa Orozco

Melissa Orozco is a PhD student at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filósoficas of the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM). She studied Social Psychology at the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ), Mexico and then completed a Master degree in Commercialization of Science and Technology at CIMAV and UT-Austin, USA. She is currently developing a research project about the Converging Technologies Agenda in Mexico. Her particular interest is in the development of empirical studies and improving people’s understanding of social psychology of science. As part of her activities related to this, in the last two years she has been coordinating a psychology of science group (GIPSYCYT) at UAQ.

Dr. Francis Remedios

In 2000, Francis Remedios received his PhD from Higher Institute of Philosophy, Leuven University, Belgium. The title of his dissertation was “A Critical Examination of Steve Fuller’s Social Epistemology.”  In 2003, his book: “Legitimizing Scientific Knowledge: An Introduction to Steve Fuller’s Social Epistemology” http://www.lexingtonbooks.com/isbn/0739106678  was published.  He has published several papers on social epistemology. He is also on the editorial board of the journal Social Epistemology. His current research is on neoliberalism and its impact on science and the problem of humanity. As an independent scholar, Francis is pleased to be a collective member.

Homepage: http://members.shaw.ca/francisr/pub.html

Dr. Verusca Moss Simões dos Reis

Verusca holds a PhD in Philosophy from Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), a Masters Degree in Philosophy at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and a Degree in Social Sciences (UFRJ).

Her main research field is philosophy of science, especially its relation with sociology of science and science studies. In her PhD thesis, she undertook a critical evaluation of the ethos of science in the new mode of knowledge production. This mainly focussed on the work of the physicist and epistemologist John Michel Ziman as a starting point to understand what has been called “post-academic science” and its consequences for epistemology.

She currently holds a post-doctoral research position at UERJ with a scholarship from the Brazilian funding agency CNPQ (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico). Her current research has two lines of interest: on the one hand, investigating the changing values in academic research systems in what has been defined as “commodification of academic research” (or “post-academic science” in Ziman’s view). She is interested in the relationship between various conceptions of ‘science’ and ‘university’ and what we consider as ‘knowledge.’ On the other hand, she continues her research on Ziman’s work, who thought that the strength of science was its ability to produce public knowledge cooperatively.

She has presented papers in many congresses in Brazil and also abroad. Her full CV can be seen on: http://buscatextual.cnpq.br/buscatextual/visualizacv.do?metodo=apresentar&id=K4768463U6

Adam Riggio

Adam Riggio is completing his PhD in Philosophy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, working on several concurrent projects. His thesis research revolves around grounding the more implausible, but most interesting, ideas of environmental ethics in an ontology where movement is understood as affectivity, and all bodies are assemblies of parts and fields of force all the way down. He organizes the multi-disciplinary reading/discussion group “Liberating Matter,” which is building an ethical philosophy tentatively called happy existentialism.

Adam’s interest in social epistemology (both the journal and the sub-discipline) comes from his work tracing the historical development of academic and intellectual disciplines, and understanding the normative habits that keep them separate or bring them together. His planned post-doctoral work focusses on the evolution of North American philosophy in the twentieth century, identifying the institutionalized habits of thinking that have caused its fragmentation into so many sub-disciplines and scenes whose discourses are completely separate from each other. Adam is crazy enough to imagine a discipline called Philosophy that in the twenty-first century welcomes the disciplines from which it has segregated itself over the last hundred years back into its conversation, and thinks that kind of conversation would be the most creative philosophy has been in a long time.

He can be found on twitter: @adamriggio.


Dr. Gregory Sandstrom

Gregory Sandstrom’s education has been in three fields: sociology, economics and philosophy. Undergrad degrees were done in Canada (University of British Columbia & Wilfrid Laurier University), Masters in the Netherlands (Vrije Universitet), and PhD (called Кандидат Социологических Наук) in Russia (St. Petersburg State University/Sociological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences). Most recently, he completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Autonomous National University of Mexico in Mexico City at the Institute for Applied Mathematics and Systems working on themes of development and knowlege production.

He first came across Steve Fuller’s work in connection with the evolution and intelligent design ‘controversy,’ which was demonstrated most practically in Fuller’s participation in the Dover, Pennsylvania school board trial, as science studies expert witness for the defense. His research on Fuller’s work includes the new sociological imagination, collaborative science, philosophy and religion discourse and most recently, the provocative notion of Humanity 2.0. Some social epistemology themes Gregory explores are the biological challenge to social science, contrasting ‘red’ and ‘green’ approaches to culture and society, (neo-)Darwinism & other related -isms, the notions of academic freedom and knowledge production in the electronic-information age, and Fuller’s curious notion (2006) of ‘zoocentric misanthropy.’

The major focus of his work since 2003 has been to begin overturning evolutionism-as-ideology in the human-social sciences, moving beyond it with ‘human extension’ as a reflexive contribution in sociology. Gregory recently began his teaching career in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Homepage: http://vpu.academia.edu/GregorySandstrom/

Twitter: @risengrisha 



I am a sociologist, currently based in Santiago de Chile.

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