Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science

Dates: Jan 02, 2016 – Jun 30, 2019
Prinicipal Investigators: Celia Deane-Drummond, Darcia Narvaez, and Thomas Stapleford
Support: Templeton Religion Trust; University of Notre Dame

Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science

Project Aim

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

Project Activities

  • Colloquium at the University Notre Dame
  • Colloquium at Durham University
  • Workshop at the University of Notre Dame
  • Conference at the Notre Dame London Global Gateway
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Graduate Student Fellowships

Project Summary

The project team of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from a variety of fields – psychology, anthropology, philosophy, theology, and history – uses broad surveys and intensive ethnographic studies to examine dispositions correlated with laboratory research in biology. Drawing on existing literature and original research, the team considers how these dispositions might sustain or impede human flourishing in both science and other contexts, including familial, religious, and civic communities. A smaller study of musical ensembles provides a contrasting look at highly-trained, cooperative teamwork in a non-scientific field. Research will be conducted at both the University of Notre Dame and Durham University. 

Project News & Media

Project Events


Research Publications

  • Beeler, Dori, and Louise Bezuidenhout. "Docility is not Passiveness: Teaching Learners to Learn in Science Education." Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 5.2 (2018): 216–38.

  • Bertolaso, Marta, and Emanuele Ratti. “Conceptual Challenges in the Theoretical Foundations of Systems Biology.” In Systems Biology, edited by Mariano Bizzarri, 1–13. New York: Springer, Humana Press, 2018.

  • Bezuidenhout, Louise, Sabina Leonelli, Ann H. Kelly, and Brian Rappert. " '$100 Is Not Too Much to You': Open Access and Neglected Accessibilities for Scientific Research in Africa." Critical Public Health 27.1 (2017): 39–49.

  • Bezuidenhout, Louise, and M. Morrison. "Between Scylla and Charybdis: Reconciling Competing Data Management Demands in the Life Sciences." BMC Medical Ethics 17.1 (2016): 29.

  • Bezuidenhout, Louise, Sabina Leonelli, Ann H. Kelly, and Brian Rappert. "Beyond the Digital Divide: Towards a Situated Approach to Open Data." Science and Public Policy 44.1 (2016): 464–75.

  • Bezuidenhout, Louise, Emanuele Ratti, Nathaniel Warne, and Dori Beeler. "Docility as a Primary Virtue in Scientific Research." Minerva 57.1 (2018): 67–84.

  • Bezuidenhout, Louise. "The Relational Responsibilities of Scientists: (Re) considering Science as a Practice." Research Ethics 13.2 (2017): 65–83.

  • Bezuidenhout, Louise, and Nathaniel Warne. "Should We All be Scientists? Re-thinking Laboratory Research as a Calling." Science and Engineering Ethics (2017): 1–19.

  • Bezuidenhout, Louise. "Technology Transfer and True Transformation: Implications for Open Data." Data Science Journal 16 (2017): 26.

  • Christen, Markus. "Comparing Cultural Differences with Domain-specific Differences of Appreciating and Understanding Values." Journal of Moral Education 47.3 (2018): 333–45.