Beatty, John - Philosophy

Personal Information
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Department / Program: 
University Affiliation: 
University of British Columbia
Email Address: 
Area of Research
Geographical Region: 
North America
Time Period: 
19th and 20th Century
Specific Area of Research: 
His research focuses on the theoretical foundations, methodology, and socio-political dimensions of genetics and evolutionary biology (he is one of many UBC faculty specializing in history and philosophy of science, and science and technology studies). His current research projects concern, more specifically, 1) the distinction between "history" and "science," and the respects in which evolutionary biology is as much like former as it is like the latter, 2) the relationships between biology and "the state," from the Manhattan Project to the Human Genome Project, and 3) the theological dimensions of the Darwinian revolution (e.g., as reflected in the wonderful evolutionary parable, Water Babies).
PHD Program: 
History and Philosophy of Science
PHD University: 
Indiana University
PHD Date: 
Major Publications: 
Books Gigerenzer, Gerd, Zeno Swijtink, Theodore Porter, Lorraine Daston, John Beatty and Lorenz Krüger. 1989. The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ---------- Edited Books Singh, Rama S., Costas B. Krimbas, Diane B. Paul and John Beatty (eds.). 2000. Thinking about Evolution: Historical, Philosophical and Political Perspectives, a Festschrift for Richard C. Lewontin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ---------- Books in Progress Genetics in the Atomic Age. The history of genetics and population genetics in the U.S. in the 1940s-1980s, in the context of the atomic age and the Cold War. Under contract with Harvard University Press. Evolution as Parable: Charles Kingsley and Water Babies. An account of the interrelated evolutionary, theological and social dimensions of the classic Victorian fairy tale. In collaboration with Piers Hale. Editorial Boards Isis (journal of the History of Science Society), 1991-1994. Philosophy of Science (journal of the Philosophy of Science Association), 1984-1999. Biology and Philosophy, 1984-2000. The Mendel Newsletter, 1991-present. Perspectives on Science: Historical/Philosophical/Social, 1992-present. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 1998-present.
Membership in Academic Societies: 
Professional Offices and Panels U.S. National Committee, International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council, 2000-2003. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Committee on Council Affairs (steering committee) 1998-2000. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council 1997-2000. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section L, History and Philosophy of Science, Chair Elect / Chair / Past Chair, 2002-2005. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section L, History and Philosophy of Science, Member at Large, 1990-1994. National Science Foundation, Comparative Biology IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program) Panel, 2000-2001. National Science Foundation, Science and Technology Studies Panel, 1994-1997. Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Science, Advisory Board, 2003-2005. History of Science Society, Governing Council, 1988, 1990-1992, 2006-2009. History of Science Society, Nominating Committee 1990-1991. History of Science Society, Committee on Research and the Profession, 1988-1992. Philosophy of Science Association, Governing Board, 1994-1996. History of the Philosophy of Science Working Group, Program Committee, 2001-2002, 2007-2008. ---------- Other Professional Activities and Positions Co-Director (with Jane Maienschein and James Collins), Seminar in the History of Biology, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 1990-present. Vienna International Summer University / Vienna Circle Institute, Executive Committee, 2004-present.
Courses Taught: 
Recent courses (University of British Columbia): PHIL 260 / HIST 260, "Science and Society" (lecture) PHIL 330, "Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy" (lecture) PHIL 360 / HIST 360, "Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science" (lecture) PHIL 390 / 490, "Honors Tutorial: Science and Democracy" (seminar) PHIL 464, "Philosophy of Biology" (lecture/seminar) PHIL 560, "Philosophy of Science, Special Topic: The Darwinian Revolution" (lecture) PHIL 560, "Philosophy of Science, Special Topic: Biology and Modernity" (seminar, with Tina Loo from the Department of History)