Carla Fehr, Faculty Director

cfehr1Dr. Carla Fehr works in the areas of socially relevant philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and feminist epistemology. Her research examines the social nature of scientific research. Simply put, she argues that diversity promotes excellence. Carla holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Philosophy.





 Katie Plaisance, Faculty

kplaisanceDr. Kathryn (Katie) Plaisance is an Associate Professor in the Department of Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Katie’s most recent work seeks to bring these research projects together by considering how philosophers can best acquire and make use of interactional expertise in order to improve the practices and products of science.





Katy Fulfer, Faculty

Katy FulferDr. Katy Fulfer works primarily in feminist bioethics. Katy’s work on reproductive technologies looks at agency, responsibility, and commodification in assisted reproductive contexts. Katy also collaborates with Dr. Patrick Clipsham (Winona State University) on projects in animal ethics. Their current work investigates the commodification of animal labour in scientific and medical research. She is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Waterloo and the Reviews editor for IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.




Heidi Grasswick, Visiting Faculty

heidi headshotDr. Grasswick holds the George Nye & Anne Walker Boardman Professor of Mental and Moral Science at Middlebury College. She works in feminist epistemology and philosophy of science and is particularly interested in the link between ethics and epistemology. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Grasswick has served as Chair of the Middlebury College Philosophy Department, coordinator of the Board of Associate Editors of Hypatia, President of the Society for Analytical Feminism, and President of the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy.



Sara Weaver, PhD Candidate (past Director)

Sara is a PhD Candidate in philosophy at the University of Waterloo and a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship. Her main area of interest is in the philosophy of science with an emphasis in feminist philosophy of biology. Her dissertation looks at a new branch of evolutionary psychology called “feminist evolutionary psychology.” Sara is interested in, descriptively, what the feminist projects of this discipline are, and prescriptively, their strengths and weakness. She has also done work in experimental philosophy. Her website is here:




Jay Michaud, PhD Candidate

Jay works primarily in the areas of feminist philosophy of science, socially relevant philosophy of science, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Broadly speaking, her research aims to show how social and disciplinary diversity can improve scientific practice, and consequently, relevant and interested social groups. Some of her specific research topics include: the benefits of transdisciplinary collaboration on scientific practice, experimental investigations of values in science communication (co-authored with John Turri), and formally training science communicators (co-authored with Ty Branch). She is currently in the PhD program at the University of Waterloo.




Jamie Sewell, PhD Candidate

Jamie’s interests are in feminist epistemology, bioethics, and philosophy of law (especially standards of reasonableness).

Jamie won SSHRC in 2012 for her work in critical thinking and democratic pedagogy, as well as the Ardeth Wood Memorial Bursary (for women in philosophy), in 2014.  Currently, she is working on her dissertation, exploring the role of standards of reasonableness in legal contexts of rape, sexual harassment, and third-party liability in negligence law.  She hopes to offer alternatives to the standards of reasonableness in these contexts.



Matthew Silk, PhD Candidate

Matt is in the PhD program at the University of Waterloo. Matt’s areas of interest are in philosophy of science and classical pragmatism. His research examines the relationship between different conceptions of value and the ways in which values are discussed in the values in science literature. His aim is to provide a more precise account of value to clarify how values should be used in science.




Amanda Plain, PhD Candidate


My name is Amanda Plain. I am a PhD student in Philosophy. My main areas of interest are in Indigenous Philosophies with an emphasis on Indigenous Feminisms and Epistemologies. I am also interested in Indigenous Feminist and Anti-Colonial criticisms of the Philosophy of Psychiatry.





Sandra DeVries, PhD Candidate

Sandra DeVries has completed research areas in philosophy of race, philosophy of language, and cognitive science. Her dissertation focuses on the experiences of internalized racism for mixed race folks, and on the need to decentralize whiteness in race studies. In her current work, Sandra uses philosophy of mind, language, and race to explore institutional racism and to problematize the tendency of race/racism studies to alienate people of mixed race. Sandra aims to complete her PhD in June of 2017.



Nathan Haydon, PhD Candidate


Nathan is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo. His research is on characterizing the normativity within scientific practice. His dissertation is on the theory of inquiry developed by the founder of Pragmatism, Charles Peirce.





Past Members

Alexandra Kraushaar, BKI, MA

The Nature of Pluralism in Economics: A Case Study of the Gender Wage Gap

Alexandra Kraushaar is a recent Masters graduate of graduate Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Her research interests include feminist philosophy of economics, feminist philosophy of science, and feminist and social economics. Her Masters thesis questioned current theories, methods, and models used by economists to recognize and understand gender wage gaps. Her conclusions were that using theoretically singular models, while insightful, did not individually offer enough depth and breadth to create solutions to remedy existing wage gaps among laborers, and rather using a pluralist approach or multiple theoretical frameworks to model and understand wage gaps will result in more rigorous and effective solutions.


Teresa Branch-Smith, MA

Reducing the Emergence of the Gaps: Computation for Weak Emergence

defaultTeresa Branch-Smith has worked regularly in science communication since her undergraduate studies in biochemistry, completing a graduate diploma in Science Communication. During her graduate diploma, she learned effective techniques in rhetoric, written, visual and oral communication. She specializes in science communication through exhibit design, and has an interest in science policy development.
Her Masters thesis, “Reducing the Emergence of the Gaps: Computation for Weak Emergence”, used weak emergence, computational analysis, and systems biology to reclassify phenomena traditionally considered strongly emergent, revealing a relationship of “Emergence of the Gaps”.
Teresa approaches complexity from a background in biochemistry and as a result is particularly interested in discussions about emergence that involve biology based examples. Most recently she has looked at instances of emergence in near-living architecture.
Teresa’s work with Dr. Heather Douglas (Waterloo Chair in Science and Society) as a research assistant helped create the Science-Policy Interface: International Comparisons workshop, bringing together science policy scholars and practitioners to examine science policy issues across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.