Ann Thresher

Ann Thresher, Interdisciplinary Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow at the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University
Graham Stuart Lounge - Encina Hall West, Room 400

I'm a post-doc at Stanford University in the McCoy Family Center for Ethics working with the new School for Sustainability. I am also a member of the History, Philosophy and Culture working group for the next generation Event Horizon Telescope where I advise on the ethical aspects of telescope siting. I have wide ranging interests within the philosophy of science, with publications in bioethics, philosophy of physics, and a forthcoming  book on scientific reliability entitled 'the Tangle of Science; Reliability Beyond the Scientific Method, Rigour, and Objectivity'. 

I work on emerging technology, with a particular emphasis on bioethics and environmental crises. Within this I have worked on gene-editing technology, invasive species, and have taught specialised courses on climate change and our moral obligations towards nature. More broadly I am interested in the risks and harms that new technologies bring, and some of my current work deals with whether tools like moratoriums, government intervention, and self-regulation can mitigate these risks.

My work in physics focuses primarily on space-time topology, and general relativity including projects on compact space-times and gravitational waves. This is part of a broader interest in the philosophy of time, and I have helped organise and run numerous conferences on the topic, as well as serving as treasurer to the American Philosophy of Time Society.

Finally, I have a forthcoming book with OUP that gives new arguments for why science is reliable. The book is co-authored with Nancy Cartwright (UCSD/Durham), Eleonora  Montuschi (Venice), Jeremey Hardie (LSE), and Matthew Soleiman (UCSD). It broadly argues that we need to set aside our focus on truth in science and instead turn to the structures that underpin any given product of science to see why it gives us useful results. More information on all of these topics can be found on my research page.

My PhD is from the University of California San Diego, with a thesis entitled `Putting the Philosophy Back Into Natural Philosophy: Ethics, Policy, and Using Philosophic Tools to Solve Scientific Problems'. Prior to my PhD I simultaneously completed two undergraduate degrees at Sydney University, one in physics and one in philosophy, before doing an honours project in HPS.

As well as founding the queer phenomenology reading group at UCSD, I have acted as the founding chair of the department climate committee, given talks at San Diego Comic-Con, and previously worked for the Royal  London Mathematical society where I organised conferences, museum exhibitions, artist in residence projects, documentaries, and collaborations with the London Science Museum, the Institute for Physics, and the Royal Astronomical Society. More about my CV can be found here.