Science and technology today have huge impacts on every aspect of our lives. While they considerably benefit us, the emergence of new technologies sometimes brings about unprecedented disasters and ethical dilemmas. In light of this, the relation between science and society has been actively discussed from various aspects in various disciplines, including philosophy of science.
A sufficient understanding of the relation between science and society requires a deeper understanding of science itself. For example, what are the features that make science so special and different from other activities called `pseudoscience’? Is science free from social values? If it is, how is it possible when scientific research is conducted by scientists who are situated in particular social and cultural settings? If it is not, does it inevitably undermine the rationality of science and its authority? These are the topics discussed in philosophy of science.
My research interest in this area has been in the nature of scientific knowledge. In particular, I have worked on the issue called `the scientific realism debate’ (a debate concerning the approximate truth of what scientific theories tell us about the world, including its unobservable aspects) and applied insights from epistemology (theory of knowledge, justification, or warrant) to this debate. I am also interested in other related topics concerning scientific representation (i.e. how scientific theories represent the world), such as the relation between raw data and so-called `models of data.’