Heather Douglas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and a member of the Socially Engaged Philosophy of Science Group at Michigan State University. She works on the role of values in science and of science in democracy. Her current projects focus on thinking through the implications of the necessity of values in science for the structure of democratic institutions for science, such as science advising, science funding, science communication, and accountability structures for science.
She received her Ph.D. from the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, and has held tenure-line faculty positions at the University of Puget Sound, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Waterloo. In 2016, she was named a AAAS fellow. She is also a fellow of the Institute for Science, Society, and Policy at the University of Ottawa. Her work has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
She is the author of Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal (2009) as well as numerous articles on values in science, the moral responsibilities of scientists, and the role of science in democratic societies. She edits the book series Science, Values, and the Public for University of Pittsburgh Press. She is also an avid gardener, enjoys swimming in the ocean, and revels with her daughter in her partner Ted’s excellent cooking.
Heather was a Center Visiting Fellow during the 2010-11 academic year. In 2021-22, Heather returns to the Center as Senior Visiting Fellow.