I am a scientist and philosopher with interests stretching widely across science and philosophy. My primary research interests are located at the intersection of the biological, social, and mind sciences in addition to empirically informed philosophy and ethics. Both are reflected in the current core of my work: to move the science of consciousness to it’s post-Darwinian phase by putting the origins, function, and phylogenetic spread of animal consciousness at the center of our investigation and develop a theory of consciousness that recognizes the importance of health, ecology, and evolution. For a glimpse of my work, you can watch this talk of mine on the evolution of multicellular organisms or take a look at my list of publications which now includes over 40 papers.
Some more information:
I am a member of the Theory and Method in Biosciences group (The Griffiths Lab) at the Charles Perkins Centre (Australia’s leading medical research institute) and an interdisciplinary PhD candidate in the School of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Science. I am funded through the Australian Laureate Fellowship ‘A Philosophy of Medicine for the 21st century’ which aims to develop a new theory of health and disease to accommodate developments in contemporary biology with a special emphasis on evolutionary theory. My dissertation Health, Agency, and the Evolution of Consciousness seeks to develop such a theory of the organism and grounds the evolution of consciousness or as I call it ‘phenomenological complexity’ which is meant to include dimensions such as pain, wellbeing, perceptual richness, episodic memory, and self-consciousness, in what I dub ‘pathological complexity’. This interdisciplinary project is conducted under the supervision of Paul E. Griffiths (Charles Perkins Centre & Department of Philosophy), Peter Godfrey-Smith (School of History and Philosophy of Science), and externally Marian Stamp Dawkins (University of Oxford, Department of Zoology) who are international leaders on the subjects of my dissertation.
I also did a couple of interviews on my work:
- Interviewed by Cody Turner’s Tent Talks: Naturalizing Consciousness
- Interviewed by Jamie Woodhouse’s Sentientism Podcast: Animal Sentience, Ethics, and Religion
- Interview with the Philosophy Exchange Podcast: Model Diversity and the Embarassment of Riches
- Interviewed by the The NonSequitur Show: Ethics of Genetic Engineering
My partner Heather Browning is also a philosopher/scientist working as a Research Officer in animal sentience and welfare at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
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