My general research interests concern “what’s missing,” broadly construed. I am interested in how our dominant theories, models, research questions, measurements, systems, and policies exclude or obscure parts of the world, and how this impacts our abilities to ask different questions and make better decisions.
For example, I am currently finishing (fingers crossed!) a dissertation about “silences” in health and healthcare. In healthcare ethics, there has been a push to pay more attention to the stories and testimonies of patients. The hope is that creating more spaces for listen to patient stories can help us do things like (i) build better relationships with patients, (ii) provide them better health outcomes, and (iii) generate more complete and representative data for policy and research. I think this is an important approach. But I also believe than an emphasis on accessing and listening to stories can (a) obscure the structures and processes that produce silences–those things that make stories and testimonies unavailable to us, and (b) downplay the ways that silences can be communicative, can be productive, and even important sites of resistance. My goal with this dissertation is to complicate how people in philosophy and healthcare think about patient stories and testimony, and to offer some recommendations toward a more critical understanding of “silence.”
In healthcare, I’m also interested in:
- How our conceptualizations and operationalizations of “health” often tacitly exclude disabled people from health research, policy, and care;
- How we measure and interpret death data, particularly around suicide;
- How we interpret and communicate scientific findings; and in general
- How our tools for measuring and assessing “health” miss or obscure parts of the world, especially the often neglected experiences of marginalized communities.
In philosophy, I’m generally interested in
- Who has been able to shape what counts as “philosophy” and what philosophical theories and arguments get prioritized;
- How philosophers engage with (or not!) different kinds of empirical evidence and research methods (especially in ethics and in the philosophy of science); and
- How the theories and debates we develop connect to the current state of the world, and to different industries and disciplines (especially those which are more dismissive of philosophy).
Outside of philosophy and healthcare, I’m interested in a broad range of disciplines and topics, such as:
- Disability studies, queer studies, and trans studies, especially as they intersect with health and education, but also for the tools they provide in interrogating our taken-for-granted norms and values;
- Interdisciplinarity studies, especially research on how to engage in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and collaboration;
- Media studies, especially how we represent and communicate death and grief;
- Material sciences, especially paper and paper crumpling;
- Psychology and neuroscience, especially how we operationalize mental concepts for study (this was one of my majors as an undergraduate!);
- Suicidology, especially the gaps between critical suicidological research and the policies and interventions we follow;
- Theoretical physics, especially uncertainty and most sub-Planck things; and
- Education, really just everything about how we can teach and learn better!