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Ecological sciences and conservation have philosophical implications

Philosophy and especially ethics and epistemology can provide practical ways to investigate crucial questions:

- How science is actually working? Why science is said "objective"?
- What is the meaning of concepts and methods used in science?
- Should scientists advocate?
- Why nature must be protected?

Working on these questions helps me to better understand the reasonings and values at stake in my scientific research.

I have therefore started a master degree in philosophy with a specific focus on the topic of objectivity in scientific research. I have addressed whether objectivity was reached at the following stages of the scientific research: the scientific language itself, the scientific method, and the scientific community

For my master degree of philosophy I have worked on:
  • Objectivity in scientific research: [PDF] (first year) in french

  • Objectivity of scientific research: [PDF] (second year) in french
I also work with Virginie Maris on several projects at the interplay between ecology and philosophy:

We use philosophical and ecological concepts and tools to shed new lights on how biodiversity crisis is studied in ecology and on how conservation targets are proposed. As the boundary between research and expertise is dwindling, one needs to renew the investigation on the epistemological status of scientific knowledge in ecology. This opens new areas of research beyond traditional distinctions between knowledge and action, science and expertise, scientific community and civil society. For instance, following questions remain to be studied: are scientific results in ecology reflecting a "reality" of the world? Are statistical analyses able to "discover" the laws of nature? Can the social and political use of scientific results rely on the "objective" knowledge guaranteed by ecologists?

We also specifically investigate the scientific and philosophical implications of the "ecological service" concept and, more generally, the origins and consequences of utilitarian and non-utilitarian views of nature and conservation.