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Frank and Zwier Win the 2018 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Prize

Tuesday, August 14, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Shepherd
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Frank and Zwier Win the 2018 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Prize

David FrankNEWARK, Del. — Aug. 14, 2018 — The American Philosophical Association is pleased to announce that that Dr. David Frank (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Dr. Karen Zwier (Iowa State University) have been awarded the 2018 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Prize for their articles, “Ethics of the Scientist qua Policy Advisor: Inductive Risk, Uncertainty, and Catastrophe in Climate Economics” and “Interventionist Causation in Thermodynamics,” respectively.

The Routledge, Taylor & Francis Prize, which includes a $1,000 monetary award for each winner, is awarded annually in recognition of the two best articles by APA members who hold limited-term research or teaching positions at an institution of higher education.

Karen ZwierElisabeth Camp (Rutgers University), chair of the selection committee, “commends David Frank and Karen Zwier for their outstanding articles in the philosophy of science, broadly construed. Frank’s article examines the implications of scientists’ ethical obligations in acting as policy advisors on their calculations of risk, especially in the context of climate science.  The selection committee was impressed by the way the paper bridges disciplinary boundaries, bringing sophisticated formal models of cost benefit analysis from economics together with philosophical discussions at the intersection of ethics, epistemology, and decision theory, to make progress on an issue of pressing contemporary relevance.

“Zwier’s article argues that interventionist theories of causation, which are frequently criticized as relying on an intuitive notion of interference by an outside agent that is inapplicable to fundamental physics, in fact provides the most plausible implementation of theorizing about fundamental thermodynamic structure. The selection committee was impressed by the way the paper articulates abstract, mathematically sophisticated features of both thermodynamic and interventionist theory in terms that connect the two theories in a precise way that is also accessible to a wider audience.”

Dr. Frank earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. His research explores the intersections of environmental ethics and philosophy of science. He is particularly interested in conceptual and ethical questions that arise in value-laden, policy-relevant environmental sciences like conservation biology and climate science. Frank has also worked on topics in philosophy of economics and philosophy of psychiatry.

Dr. Zwier was recently a visiting assistant professor in the department of philosophy and religion at Drake University, and will be starting a new position as a part-time lecturer in the department of philosophy and religious studies at Iowa State University. She holds a Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh, and she has broad research interests in philosophical and scientific methodology, as well as metaphysics of science. Zwier's research is largely concerned with questions about how—and if—metaphysical claims are engaged by empirical scientific methods. 

About the APA

Founded in 1900, the American Philosophical Association promotes the discipline and profession of philosophy, both within the academy and in the public arena. The APA supports the professional development of philosophers at all levels and works to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the value of philosophical inquiry.


Amy Ferrer
Executive Director


This release is also available as a Microsoft Word document. The photos of Frank and Zwier are available for use.

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