Welcome to the History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Program at Notre Dame

“philosophically engaged history of science”
“historically rich philosophy of science”

Our doctoral program offers graduate-level instruction leading to a discipline-based HPS Ph.D. Students in our distinctive, inter-departmental program are also fully trained in philosophy, history, or theology.

We also offer a concurrent master’s degree to students enrolled in other Notre Dame Ph.D. programs.

Our faculty members are drawn from a variety of departments including history, philosophy, theology, english, and the program of liberal studies. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds in the humanities and sciences, and take their HPS expertise on into positions in academia and elsewhere (see our alumni page).

Keep in touch with the HPS community here at Notre Dame: check out the calendar of HPS Upcoming Events

Recent News

Stephen Case awarded 2014 Sloan Prize

Stephen Case

Stephen Case is this year’s winner of the Phillip R. Sloan Prize, awarded annually to a graduate student who embodies Prof. Sloan’s commitment to scholarship.

Steve is recognized this year for his high achievement in past coursework and the fine work he has done on his doctoral dissertation on Sir John Herschel, which is now nearing completion. Through his efforts in conference organization, he has brought important scholars to Notre Dame to interact with our HPS community. This past winter has been especially impressive, with Steve’s work on the Dioptrice project coming to fruition, a published article, and his presentation of the Dioptrice work at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A brief description of the award and a list of past winners can be found here

Read more >

Laura Bland awarded dissertation fellowship

Laura Bland

April, 2014 – Congratulations to HPS Ph.D. candidate Laura Bland! Laura has been awarded a $18,500 Paul G. Tobin Dissertation Fellowship by Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies for her dissertation project entitled “Unfriendly Skies: Superstition and Science in the Spanish and English Empires.”

The year-long fellowship is one of three Tobin Fellowships awarded within the university to support graduate students writing dissertations on topics within European studies. These awards allow students to devote full attention to their project for an entire academic year.

Elise Crull accepts position at CCNY

Elise Crull

Congratulations to HPS Ph.D. Elise Crull! Dr. Crull has accepted a tenure-track position at City College in New York, where she will get to help build a brand-new HPS graduate program. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was previously the Leverhulme Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. She received her degree in 2011 with a dissertation titled “Quantum Decoherence and Interlevel Relations,” working with  Don Howard. Her book The ‘Einstein Paradox’: Debates on Nonlocality and Incompleteness in 1935 (with G. Bacciagaluppi) is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

Daniel McKaughan receives tenure at Boston College

Daniel McKaughan

Congratulations go out to HPS alum Dan McKaughan on receiving tenure in the Philosophy Department at Boston College! Dr. McKaughan has been at Boston College since 2008. Prior to that he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Sorin Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. His interests include philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, epistemology, and philosophy of religion.

To see Dr. McKaughan’s recent publications and to learn more about him, click here.

Charles Pence accepts position at LSU

Charles Pence

Congratulations to PhD candidate (philosophy track) Charles Pence. We’re pleased to report that Charles has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Louisiana State University (LSU).

He also recently won the 2013 British Society for the Philosophy of Science Sir Karl Popper Essay Prize for his paper “A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness,” co-authored with Grant Ramsey.  Click here to see the paper.

Pence was also mentioned in a New York Times article on the “Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technologies” course he co-teaches with Maj. Gen. Robert Latiff (Ret.).

Click here to learn more about his work.


Stephen Case

The History and Philosophy of Science graduate program made a big splash at this year’s AAAS meeting, with current student Steve Case (pictured) featured on two blog posts and ND philosophy alum (and close friend of HPS) Dan Hicks being interviewed for another. Congratulations to both for a great showing!

You can find the blog post about Steve’s poster session by clicking here.

A brief video of Steve talking about Herschel’s discovery of Uranus (scroll about 1/3 of the way down) is here.

And the interview with Dr. Hicks can be found here.


Cliff Arnold building bridges between HPS and the practice of medicine

Februrary 15, 2014 – Cliff Arnold has been accepted into an internship program through the Common Good Initiative in the Theology Department, which will allow him to travel to Uganda this summer to do research on hospice and palliative care medicine there. He is also engaged with the Center for Social Concern’s US Healthcare: Policy and Poverty seminar, co-leading a group of 15 undergraduates in seminar discussions throughout the semester and facilitating a Spring Break immersion trip to Washington, DC, where they will speak to professionals in the field of healthcare.

Notre Dame HPS Professors to Join PSA’s Governing Board and Nominating Committee

The results of the 2013 Philosophy of Science Association election have been revealed and three members of our Notre Dame History and Philosophy of Science community have been elected to the new governing board and nominating committee.

Anjan Chakravartty

Professor Anjan Chakravartty (Department of Philosophy) has been elected to the Governing Board for the PSA and will serve a four year term ending 12/31/2017. Chakravartty also serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Science and as interim co-director of the History and Philosophy of Science graduate program.

Katherine Brading

Katherine Brading, Associate Professor of Philosophy, has been elected to the PSA Nominating Committee and will serve a two year term ending 12/31/2015. Brading will return to her role as director of the History and Philosophy of Science graduate program in Fall 2014. Alisa Bokulich has been elected along with Brading to the Nominating Committee. She is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and the Director of their Center for Philosophy & History of Science. Dr. Bokulich received her Ph.D. from Notre Dame’s HPS program in 2001.

Katherine Brading kicks off the 54th Annual Lecture Series at Pitt’s Center for Philosophy of Science

Click here to read the write up from Brading’s talk, titled “Absolute, True and Mathematical Time in Newton’s Principia,” by Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science, John Norton.


For more news from the HPS program, click on one of the following:
HPS Faculty News
HPS Graduate Student News
HPS Alumni/ae News

You can follow the latest HPS as well as Reilly Center news on Facebook at facebook.com/NDReillyCenter


Upcoming Events

Fri Sep 26, 2014

Sat Sep 27, 2014

Welcome From the Program Director

Katherine Brading cropped

Thank you for your interest in the HPS program. We're very fortunate to have an active and diverse community of scholars who make our doctoral program vibrant and successful. I encourage you to explore the HPS and Graduate School websites where you can familiarize yourself with the wealth of opportunities available to you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Katherine Brading
- Director, History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Program
- Associate Professor of Philosophy

Email: kbrading@nd.edu
University of Notre Dame
451 Geddes Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 631-9844