APA Project Grant Recipients

The American Philosophical Association (APA) has announced the winners of its 2019-2020 Small Grants and Diversity and Inclusiveness Grants.

[Kiva Ford, miniature glass instruments]

The Small Grants Program has a pot of $25,000 to split among projects proposed to the APA’s Board. This year’s winners of Small Grants, according to a press release from the APA, are:

  • AAPT Graduate Student and Early Career Seminar on Teaching and Learning, Summer 2020 ($5,000)
    Project Coordinators: Alexandra Bradner (Kenyon College), Jennifer Mulnix (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth), Emily Esch (College of St. Benedict, St. John’s University), Stephen Bloch-Schulman (Elon University)
    The American Association of Philosophy Teachers’ biennial Graduate Student and Early Career Seminar on Teaching and Learning brings together philosophers from all over the country to study materials on the teaching of philosophy in a four-day, interactive workshop led by philosophers with pedagogical expertise. The seminar provides participants with research-based best practices from both the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and the science of learning.
  • AAPT Summer Seminar on Teaching and Learning Philosophy ($4,500)
    Project Coordinators: Stephen K. Miller (Oakwood Friends School and Marist College), Wendy Turgeon (St. Joseph’s College)
    At the 2020 AAPT Summer Seminar on Teaching and Learning Philosophy, selected high school and middle school educators will discuss new approaches to engaging students with philosophy, and exchange ideas with university faculty attending the conference. Expanding the AAPT Summer Seminar to include high school and middle school teachers accomplishes two goals: it furthers PLATO’s mission of building a national support and resource-sharing network of all those committed to advancing pre-college philosophy, and helps ensure the high quality of pre-college philosophy instruction.
  • Ball State Philosophy Outreach Project ($3,700)
    Project Coordinator: Sarah Vitale (Ball State University)
    The Philosophy Outreach Project creates alternative spaces for learning in classrooms, clubs, online, and conference settings. By curating philosophical content and fostering philosophical discussion, POP brings college and high school students together to think and ask questions. They do so during regular outreach visits to area classrooms and clubs and during a weekly philosophy club at a local high school. POP members also create resources on philosophy for high school students and their teachers. Finally, POP hosts an annual precollege philosophy conference at Ball State University, which is free for attendees.
  • Ethics and College Skills Workshop for High School Students ($650)
    Project Coordinator: Ellen Miller (Rowan University)
    This pre-college workshop is open to high school students entering grades 9-12. Students will learn the main ethical theories needed to address today’s ethical questions. Ethical decision-making is crucial in all professions, and the workshop will examine questions that arise related to business ethics, environmental ethics, ethics and science, free speech, and other important ethical issues. Students will also work on important skills needed for college success: Critical thinking / Ethical leadership / Public speaking / Teamwork / Creative problem solving / Research skills / Multicultural understanding. Students will receive instruction and guidance and work in small groups on an ethical case study of their choice. The workshop is led by a philosophy professor from Rowan University.
  • Mentorship Conference/Working Group for Graduate Student Women in Philosophy ($5,000)
    Project Coordinator: Michelle Kosch (Cornell)
    This is the fourth workshop in an initiative begun in 2014 by Elizabeth Harman (Princeton), Elisabeth Camp (Rutgers), and Jill North (then Cornell). At this recurring (every two years) mentorship workshop for women philosophy graduate students, 10–15 mentors and 35–50 graduate students gather to give and comment on papers and participate in advice sessions geared toward women in the philosophy profession. The 2020 conference will be held at Cornell in June 2020.
  • Philosophers for Sustainability Outreach and Communication Funding ($990)
    Project Coordinators: Rebecca Milsop (University of Rhode Island), Lynn Chiu (University of Bordeaux/CNRS, University of St. Andrews), Eugene Chislenko (Temple)
    Philosophers for Sustainability is an international group of philosophers which aims to encourage philosophers to lead the way in discussions and action regarding sustainability and climate change. We concur with the vast majority of scientists on the reality of climate change and the need for urgent action, and regard this as an existential threat to the whole of humanity—with groups under-represented in the profession among the hardest-hit. We seek to enable philosophers to use their unique skills and access (to students, the wider public, scientists, and policy-makers) in order to be at the forefront of concrete practical action in promoting sustainability and combating climate change.
  • Philosophy of Science in the Practice of Science Communication: Inaugural Workshop of the Philosophy of Science Communication Network ($2,148)
    Project Coordinators: Lynn Chiu (University of Bordeaux/CNRS, University of St. Andrews), Sophie Veigl (University of Wien), Rebecca Hardesty (University of California, San Diego) 
    Public discourse is divided on crucial issues such as climate change, vaccines, and genetic modification. Proper outreach to facilitate better communication about science can help tackle the causes underlying these divisions and address growing public concern over the authority of science. Philosophers are uniquely poised to contribute to science outreach from a conceptual perspective, but effective endeavors need to be developed in close contact with the practices. This workshop will scaffold the philosophy of science communication and its practice. We will prototype a set of interdisciplinary activities to bring together philosophers of science and professionals of science communication. The outcomes are “in practice,” transferrable training models and career mentoring networks for philosophers of science to complement, contribute to, and gain expertise in the communication of science.
  • Virtual Reality Thought Experiments ($3,012)
    Project Coordinator: Erick J. Ramirez (Santa Clara University)
    Philosophers have long appealed to thought experiments for both experimental and pedagogical purposes. The Virtual Reality Thought Experiments project seeks to adapt philosophical thought experiments into virtual reality (VR). Research suggests that VR simulations not only more realistically mirror our choices in real-life situations but also that simulations improve knowledge retention and transfer for philosophical information. These simulations are apt to be useful for both teaching and x-phi research. We have already made simulations of Philippa Foot’s trolley problem, Robert Nozick’s experience machine, and Judith Thomson’s violinist analogy. These simulations are available on PhilPapers freely. This project will finish three modules currently under construction: Peter Singer’s drowning child, Judith Thomson’s emergency room variant of the trolley problem, and a clinical bioethics simulator.

The winners of the Diversity and Inclusiveness Grants are:

  • Diversity in Philosophy of Law: Undergraduate Summer Institute ($10,000)
    Project Coordinators: Bianca Waked (Cornell), Joel Sati (University of California, Berkeley, Yale Law School)
    “The places where the law does not go,” Mari Matsuda tells us, “have tended to be the places where women, children, people of color, and poor people live.” Originally from her 1989 article, “Public Responses to Racist Speech,” Matsuda’s claim still finds traction today in the field of legal philosophy. As such, the Diversity in Philosophy of Law: Undergraduate Summer Institute is a summer program that expressly brings insights from legal philosophy into conversation with the lived experiences of historically marginalized groups. Beginning with an overview of historic American and Canadian decisions in minority rights, three esteemed philosophers of law, who come from underrepresented backgrounds, will discuss their current work in jurisprudence and their experiences as members of historically underrepresented groups in the profession. The second half of the USI provides participants with the opportunity to workshop their Ph.D. application materials.
  • PSP4: 2020 Pittsburgh Summer Program for Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy of Science ($10,000)
    Project Coordinator: Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh)
    Minorities are extremely underrepresented in philosophy of science, more so than in philosophy. This underrepresentation is in part due to a low proportion of minority individuals among applicants to graduate programs with strengths in philosophy of science. The goal of the 2020 Summer Program for Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy of Science (PSP4) is to attract minority undergraduates to philosophy of science, therefore changing the future composition of philosophy of science. PSP4 will take place at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. The Center will invite 15 undergraduates to seminars for five days during the second week of July 2020. The Center will cover all expenses of the undergraduate participants (dormitory, travel, and food per diem). Invited faculty are primarily from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh as well as from the Department of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University.

More information about the funded projects can be found here.

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