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T. Y. Branch

T. Y. Branch

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Philosophy

University of Cologne

Dr. T.Y. Branch is a philosopher studying how values in science impact science education and science communication. Dr. Branch's research is informed by the philosophy of science, socially-situated philosophy of science, public engagement with science and social epistemology. Before joining CONCEPT, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Institut Jean Nicod, an analytic-oriented interdisciplinary research centre combining philosophy, social science and cognitive science. This was part of the EU Horizon 2020 project: Policy, Expertise and Trust in Action (PEriTiA) studying affective and normative factors that play a role in decisions to trust.

Teresa's research on values is aimed at addressing normative questions pertaining to how values are presented in science communication. A large part of this work is informed by her doctorate, where she combined historical research with philosophical critique to examine the erasure of non-epistemic (e.g. personal, social, political) values from science communication. In her thesis, Teresa argued that the value-free ideal (VFI) for science --the dominant ideal for science from the Cold War until the end of the 20th century-- minimizes the importance of non-epistemic values in science, which influences the selection of science education and communication models. This is a philosophical problem because although the VFI been identified as the wrong ideal for science, its legacy continues to misrepresent science as value-free, making it less engaging, and contributing to a crisis of trust in science.