Although it’s the shortest month of the year, February did not fall short of exciting news from our members! Our first exciting announcement comes from Rotman alumna Melissa Jacquart. Melissa received news this month that starting in the fall of 2020 she will be a tenure-track assistant professor in the philosophy department at the University of Cincinnati. Melissa was also awarded an NSF grant to host a workshop on Public Engagement and Philosophy of Science from May 13-15, 2020 at the University of Cincinnati. Former Rotman postdoctoral fellow Catherine Stinson accepted a tenure-track position with the School of Computing and the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University. She will be their Queen’s National Scholar in Philosophical Implications of Artificial Intelligence. Congratulations, Melissa and Catherine!

The Institute hosted a number of events this month. On February 28th, our visiting fellow Jennifer Flynn held a work in progress seminar. The seminar was based on her paper “Is Bioethics Action-Centered?”, in which she explored Iris Murdoch’s criticism of the moral philosophizing of her day as overly focused upon action and choice, and the extent to which it applies to contemporary bioethics. Our second joint BMI-Rotman coffee hour of the semester took place this month. The coffee hour featured a short presentation from postdoctoral fellow Ed Baggs on the modularity of the embodied mind. The joint coffee talks have been a success. They are a great way for members of the two institutes to mingle, and discuss similar interests. Looking forward to more coffee talks this semester! To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we put together a Valentine’s Day bake-off. Members of the institute brought in baked goods and we crowned two winners. Thank you to Erlantz Etxeberria & Laura Cardozo for sharing their delicious homemade goodies! And finally, this month Rotman members took part in our fifth-annual curling event, Philosophers on Ice V! The event was held at the London Curling Club and it was great fun for the experts and the amateurs alike. Thank you to everyone who attended!

All other news from our members is listed below in alphabetical order.

Andrew Chater co-wrote a new book chapter: “Assessing Security Governance in the Arctic” in the Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security.

Rob Corless and Eunice Chan gave a talk on Writing, Proof, and Programming at CUNEF in Madrid, Spain on February 25th. Slides for their talk can be found here. Rob and Eunice also visited Universidad Carlos III in Madrid this month to work on numerical stability of Algebraic Linearization.

Michael Cuffaro gave the following talks in February: 

  • “Kant and Frege on Existence and the Ontological Argument”, at the Utrecht University Theoretical Philosophy Colloquium on February 11, 2020.
  • “Quantum Computing’s Impact on the Foundations of Computational Complexity Theory,” at the Philosophy of Science Seminar, Utrecht University, on February 14, 2020.
  • “How Quantum Mechanics changed Kantian Philosophy: The Thought of Grete Hermann,” at the Descartes Centre Colloquium, Utrecht University on February 18, 2020.
  • “Grete Hermann, Quantum Mechanics, and the Evolution of Kantian Philosophy,” at the Faculty of Philosophy Colloquium, University of Groningen on February 19, 2020.

Maxwell Smith was recently invited to be an ‘Invited Expert’ in ethics at The World Health Organization and Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) Global Research and Innovation Forum on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Geneva, Switzerland. The press release for the meeting can be found here. Maxwell was a guest on the CBC radio show “The Current“, where he lent his expertise in health policy and ethics to the conversation around corona virus, and he is now participating as a member of the WHO COVID-19 Ethics Working Group.

Vicente Raja’s paper, titled “Resonance and Radical Embodiment“, in which he defends the ecological notion of resonance as the guiding principle to understand the relationship between behavior and the brain in a radical embodied cognitive science & neuroscience was accepted in Synthese.

Carlo Rovelli was interviewed by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics about his work and his new ideas about the ultimate fate of black holes. You can read the full interview here.

John Thorpe published “On Hobbes’ Aristotelity”, in Science et Esprit this month.

Francesca Vidotto was invited to speak at the next annual conference of Theory Canada.

Charles Weijer was featured in February’s issue of Schulich’s monthly eNewsletter where he discussed his work in health research ethics.

Pictured above: Ed Baggs and Michael Anderson at our Joint BMI-Rotman coffee hour; Rob Corless and Eunice Chan giving a talk at CUNEF in Madrid, Spain; Jennifer Flynn and Rotman members at her work in progress seminar; members of the institute enjoying baked goods at the Valentine’s Day bake-off; our fifth annual curling event “Philosophers on Ice V”.