This award from the Ethics and Values in Science, Engineering and Technology component of the Science and Society Program is for a Professional Development Fellowship for Carl Mitcham for academic year 2006-2007. Coming from the areas of philosophy and ethics in Science and Society studies, Mitcham will work with Roger Pielke Jr. and others at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (University of Colorado, Boulder) to improve and expand his skills in the analysis of decision making under uncertainty. This will involve primarily his undergoing training in statistics, probability, and the decision sciences. In addition, his research will work to bridge the science of decision making under uncertainty and the classic American pragmatism of John Dewey. This Professional Development Fellowship will thus seek to advance Mitcham's knowledge of the decision sciences in the context of Deweyan pragmatic concerns for advancing the social benefit of science. During the Fall semester 2006 Mitcham will devote full time to his training in the technical aspects of the decision sciences dealing with decision making under uncertainty and on research into those aspects of Dewey's thought that may be relevant to the appreciation or incorporation of scientific advances in these areas. During Spring semester 2007 Mitcham will team teach with Pielke a graduate seminar on pragmatism and decision making under uncertainty. This proposed training and research will advance knowledge and understanding in the philosophy and ethics of science and technology and potentially in the decision sciences as well. Despite the central importance of decision making under uncertainty in the ethics of science, technology, and engineering, ethical research in these areas has paid only modest attention to the relevant decision sciences. In the decision sciences there is also potential benefit from an alliance with the more broadly conceived interests in pragmatism for enhancing the social benefit of science, technology, and engineering. This proposed training and research will also lead directly to the teaching of a graduate level seminar on decision making under uncertainty and pragmatism. As an interdisciplinary project that grows out of interests and previous contributions to the ethics of science, technology, and engineering, it also promises to enhance the Science and Society dimensions of science and engineering research and education more generally. Finally, because it will bring scientific knowledge into research and education in philosophy and science, technology, and society studies, it can be expected to benefit the general scientific education of nontechnical students and scholars outside the sciences and engineering.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
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Laurel A. Smith-Doerr
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University of Colorado at Boulder
United States
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