Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science

Image Credit: National Cancer Institute


Project Dates: January 2, 2016 – January 1, 2019
Principal Investigators: Celia Deane-Drummond, Thomas Stapleford, Darcia Narvaez
Funded by: The Templeton Religion Trust and the University of Notre Dame

Project Aim
  • To investigate the virtues cultivated by scientific practice, that is, the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional dispositions to act in ways that advance the good of both the individual and a given community.
Project Summary

Over a three-year period, the project team that includes six postdoctoral fellows and six graduate students from a variety of fields that include psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, theologians, and historians will use broad surveys and intensive ethnographic studies to examine the dispositions that are correlated with laboratory research in biology. Drawing on existing literature and original research, the team is considering how these dispositions might sustain or impede human flourishing in both science and other contexts, including familial, religious, and civic communities. Furthermore, a smaller study of musical ensembles will provide a contrasting look at highly-trained, cooperative teamwork in a non-scientific field. Research will be conducted at both Notre Dame and Durham University UK, with a major international conference at the end of the three-year project to be held at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway. We anticipate that this project will generate significant transdisciplinary research, such as spurring theological and philosophical reflection on the virtues in new and perhaps unexpected ways.

Project Events
Project Team