Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science Program

Program Members:

Housed in Notre Dame’s new Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, directed by Celia Deane-Drummond, the project will be led by co-PI’s Celia Deane-Drummond (Theology), Darcia Narvaez (Psychology), and Tom Stapleford (Program of Liberal Studies), with collaboration from Agustin Fuentes (Anthropology) and Margot Fassler (Theology and Music). The full research team will include six new postdoctoral fellows and six graduate students across multiple disciplines, as well as faculty consultants at other institutions, especially Durham University. 

Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science marks the first multidisciplinary investigation into the dispositions cultivated by scientific practice. This project will focus on identifying virtues among laboratory scientists, that is, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional dispositions which act in ways that advance the good of both the individual and a given community. 
Over a three-year period, the project team (including 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 will also consider 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. 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.
Research will be conducted at both Notre Dame and Durham University, with a major international conference at the end of the three-year project to be held at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway. 
The Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science program is supported by a $3.1 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust. 
Graduate Scholars Program
Graduate students interested in scholarship funded participation in this program will find more information, here.