Doctoral Student, Department of Philosophy, Western University
Department of Philosophy
Stevenson Hall 2136
London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B8
Tel: (519) 661-2111
Fax: (519) 661-3922
- Philosophy of Physics
- Philosophy of Science
- Philosophy Education
Melissa Jacquart is currently a doctoral student in the philosophy department. Her research interests are primarily in the history and philosophy of science, particularly the philosophy of physics and cosmology. She is also interested in philosophy education and ethics & values in science. Before coming to Western University, she worked as a science assistant for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Washington, D.C. area. As a science assistant, Melissa assisted with all aspects of proposal processing and evaluation, preparing numerous reports for the Foundation, as well as outcome reports for the public and U.S. congress. Melissa received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in astronomy, philosophy, and physics, and her Master’s degree from Western.
My interests fall primarily in philosophy of cosmology, and in the foundations of physics. Much of my current research has been driven by my interest in the role of evidence in reasoning in cosmology, as well as in science more broadly. I’m interested in methodological and epistemic issues of theory-observation interaction, philosophical issues connected with the cosmological principle of observational astronomy, and the nature of interaction between observation and theory. I‘m also interested in how cosmologists think about their models in practice, and how they use models as tools for information and understanding. Through investigating these philosophical issues, I would like to better understand scientific reasoning in cosmology by making more explicit the form, scope and limits of cosmological theories.
In regards to philosophy education, I’m interested in research related to the development of reasoning and critical thinking skills as a way to improve scientific literacy among world citizens. Currently, I am working on research relevant to developing K-12 outreach activities that promote critical thinking through the history and philosophy of science.
My time spent working at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program and the Ethics Education in Science and Engineering (EESE) program has also left me with an interest in how ethics & values play a role in science. I’m particularly interested in exploring how different disciplines identify and handle values and ethical assumptions. My time at NSF has also left me with a general interest in science policy.
Underdetermination in Cosmology and the Case of Dark Energy. Western University, 2012 (Supervisor: Chris Smeenk).
Kronz, F. and Jacquart, M. “The Scientific Method” in Leadership in Science and Technology: A Reference Handbook. Edited by William Sims Bainbridge. SAGE Publications, Inc. 2011. ISBN 141297688X
2010 “Science, Technology and Society at the NSF: An Information Session” with Michael Gorman at Society of Social Studies of Science (4S) jointly held conference with Japanese Society of Social Studies of Science (JSSTS) in Tokyo, Japan, August (Presentation).
2009 “AGN Heating of Galaxy Groups”, American Astronomical Society (AAS) Conference in Long Beach, CA, January (Poster).
Fall/Winter 2011-2012, Critical Thinking, Western University (Teaching Assistant)
Winter 2012, Einstein for Everyone, Western University (Grader)
Fall 2011, Media Ethics, Western University (Grader)