Bokulich Named Director of Center for Philosophy and History of Science

in News
June 18th, 2010

Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences has named Alisa Bokulich director of the University’s Center for Philosophy and History of Science. Bokulich, professor of philosophy in the College’s Department of Philosophy, will succeed Alfred I. Tauber, Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine and professor of philosophy.

As director, Bokulich will work to promote and expand the Center’s role in fostering a dialogue between the humanities and the sciences in partnership with Boston University’s Humanities Foundation. The goal of that partnership is to increase the number of interdisciplinary bridges among various departments in the College of Arts & Sciences and organizations at Bosotn Univerity and beyond.

Bokulich already has organized a full schedule of colloquia for the Center for the next year. Next fall, the Center will host “The Race Debate in Public Health Genomics,” a colloquium that will bring together sociologists, philosophers, medical ethicists, and historians of science to examine issues arising from the latest scientific developments in “raced-based” medicine. In the spring, “Animal Minds: Methodological Issues in Cognitive Ethology” will invite psychologists, philosophers, evolutionary biologists, and professors of ecological law to discuss the challenges that arise as we learn more about the mental lives of animals.

Bokulich received her PhD in the history of philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame in 2001. That same year, she joined the Department of Philosophy in Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on the history and philosophy of physics and methodological issues in the model-based sciences.

The Center was founded in 1960 by Robert S. Cohen, professor of physics and philosophy, and the late Marx Wartofsky, professor of philosophy, with a small seed grant from the National Science Foundation. Under their stewardship, the Center became a leader in the development of interdisciplinary, interdepartmenal, and inter-university forums on the nature of science. The Center also gained international prominence through its Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science and its book series, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. The Colloquium, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, annually invites speakers from around the world to discuss the latest methodological, ethical, social, historical, or philosophical issues arising in various sciences.

“Alisa is the ideal leader to set the course for the Center’s next 50 years,” says Virginia Sapiro, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and professor of political science. “Her experience and energy ensure that the Center will continue to vigorously promote the value of interdisciplinary scholarship in higher education.”