About Us

Our Vision & Mission

History of the Institute

Western has been home to a flourishing, internationally recognized program in philosophy of science for a half century. Building on this standing and record of research excellence, Western successfully attracted philanthropic support to establish the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. The Rotman Institute was founded in 2008, with a generous donation from the Rotman Family Foundation (RFF), and  became a Western Research Institute in 2021. The institute has pursued an agenda that complements and builds on the research strengths of Western’s philosophy department, including applied ethics as well as philosophy of science.

Since its inception, the Rotman Institute has grown tremendously in terms of faculty participation, partnerships and leveraged funding – we now have more than 50 faculty members, and our members have been successful in securing additional funding through a combination of internal & external grants and awards.

Learn About Joe Rotman’s Legacy at Western

Our Goals

1 To foster success for Rotman Institute researchers at all levels.

2 To create a research environment that fosters innovative solutions to deep and wicked problems.

3 To provide distinctive interdisciplinary training for students in the sciences and humanities.

4 To integrate philosophical and ethical considerations into scientific research, the development of technologies, and public policy.

5 To inform and engage the public on deep and wicked problems.

Institute Leadership

The Director of the Rotman Institute actively pursues our goals and strategic priorities, in collaboration with Western Research’s Governing Board, an Advisory Board, a Research Advisory Committee, and an Executive Committee.

The current Rotman Director and Associate Directors are Michael Anderson and Max Smith. Previous Directors have served for the following terms:

2008 – 2012: Charles Weijer
2012 – 2013: Chris Smeenk
2013 – 2014: Carl Hoefer
2014 – 2015: Henrik Lagerlund, Acting Director
2015 – 2019: Chris Smeenk
2019 – 2020: Anthony Skelton, Interim Director
2020 – 2023: Chris Smeenk
2023 – present: Michael Anderson, Interim Director

Learn About Institute Governance

The Rotman Institute is one of four collaborative research institutes at Western University that are part of the Western Research portfolio of research excellence and innovation.

Learn about other Institutes at Western Research