I’m a historian (and occasional philosopher) of science at the University of Notre Dame, where I’m an associate professor and chairperson in the Program of Liberal Studies, a multi-disciplinary department that offers a liberal arts education based on reading and discussing classic texts from the Western intellectual tradition. I’m also a member of Notre Dame’s graduate program in History & Philosophy of Science, I hold a concurrent appointment in the Department of History, and I’m a faculty fellow in the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values and in the Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing. Beyond Notre Dame, I am an associate editor for Studies in the History & Philosophy of Science.
Most of my published work has focused on the history of economics and political economy, especially the intersection of empirical economics and policy. Those studies led me to consider the role of expertise in democratic politics: How can expert knowledge and control be reconciled with democratic accountability? My approach to that question draws in part on neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics and virtue epistemology, and I’m working on a related project that uses virtue concepts to examine the practice of scientific research. My thinking about virtues has been informed by my interest in historiography, especially French historical epistemology and contemporary practice theory.
I’ve also given a number of talks and short courses aimed at a broader public audience (mostly on economic statistics or science & religion), and I’ve written a few short, informal pieces about liberal education, largely in the context of my teaching in the Program of Liberal Studies.