Purple blue flowers in the grass

About the Event :

The ISSP and RCIScience presented a new format for our annual partnered event this year. ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) is a popular interview format wherein an expert answers questions submitted by the public. The concept first began on Reddit but has gained popularity on other platforms.

This AMA session is a key component of the annual collaboration between the ISSP and RCIScience, aimed at fostering discussions on recent and critical science, society, and policy issues with speakers representing multiple sectors from across Canada.

Wild Wisdom: AMA with a Philosopher of Biodiversity

Why do we classify life the way we do? Why do we care about biodiversity? And what is philosophy of science? What wisdom can it bring to today’s most pressing global challenges, like climate change and beyond? How can it transform decision making at the intersection of science, society and policy?

Dr. Aleta Quinn Headshot

Dr. Aleta Quinn


Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Idaho
ISSP's 2024 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Science & Society

Aleta Quinn, Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Science and Society at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy, researches the relationships among science, social values, and objectivity. Views that separate the domains of science from social policy and social values are no longer tenable. New understandings are needed to clarify the ways in which value-questions relate to scientific questions. In particular, Quinn’s research focuses on the sciences that concern biodiversity, and on distinct forms of citizen-science.

Quinn comes to us from the University of Idaho, where she is Associate Professor of Philosophy. She holds a PhD in history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh, and a BA in philosophy and BSc in biology from the University of Maryland. Her previous positions include fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Studies, and California Institute of Technology.

Her most recent project applies existing models of objectivity in science, developed by philosophers of science, to case studies in citizen science. The application reveals challenges, suggesting that the existing models must be adapted or replaced. The models of objectivity conceive of science as a social enterprise, breaking down a problematic dichotomy between social and rational; yet they do not sufficiently scrutinize the concept of a unified community of science that can readily be distinguished from communities external to science.

If you require accommodation, please contact the event host as soon as possible.
Date and time
Apr 22, 2024
All day
Format and location
The discussion will be in English but the audience is welcome to ask questions in English or French.
Graduate students, General public, Faculty and staff, Teachers and educators
Organized by
Institute for Science, Society and Policy
Co-organized with the the Royal Canadian Institute for Science (RCIScience).