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Who We Are


  • Craig Callender

    Craig Callender

    Professor of Philosophy

    Craig Callender is a Professor of Philosophy at UC San Diego. Prior to that he worked in the Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. He obtained his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1997.

    His main areas of research are:
    • Philosophy of Science
    • Philosophy of Physics
    • Metaphysics

    He also has serious teaching interests in Environmental Ethics, among other topics.

    His new book What Makes Time Special? was published by Oxford University Press (July 2017). He is working on a range of topics in the foundations of physics but also beginning research on (1) the nature of future time biases and (2) a book on environmental ethics.

  • John H. Evans

    John H. Evans

    Professor of Sociology; Tata Chancellor’s Chair in Social Sciences

    John H. Evans earned his BA from Macalester College and his PhD from Princeton University. He has been a visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University and has held visiting professorial fellowships or honorary professorships at the Universities of Edinburgh, Muenster, Ben Gurion, and Queensland. He has published two books on the profession of bioethics, two books of sociological analyses of ethical controversies in reproductive genetics, and numerous articles about religion, science, ethics and politics. His most recent book is titled Morals Not Knowledge: Recasting the Contemporary U.S. Conflict Between Religion and Science (University of California Press).

Advisory Board Members


Research Staff

  • Ramya M. Rajagopalan

    Ramya M. Rajagopalan

    Assistant Research Scientist

    Ramya M. Rajagopalan earned her PhD in biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed postdoctoral fellowships in sociology and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ramya’s work uses ethnographic and archival methods to examine the social impacts of genome technologies and big data in biomedicine. In one strand of her research she has analyzed debates about the meaning and significance of genetic variation for social categories of identity like race. Current projects investigate ethical issues in genome editing and gene drive, and the impact of emerging tools in precision medicine on medical research and health care practices.  

Postdoctoral Scholars

  • Daniel Callies

    Daniel Callies

    Daniel Edward Callies is a postdoctoral scholar at the Institute for Practical Ethics. He was born and raised in Southern California (Encinitas, to be exact). After graduating cum laude with a BA in philosophy from San Diego State University (2008), he took a position in Albacete (Spain) teaching English as a North American Language and Culture Assistant for the Spanish Ministry of Education and Sciences. After leaving Spain, he returned to San Diego State and was awarded an MA (2012) for his thesis “Equality, Responsibility, and Climate Policy.” In 2013, he began a PhD at Goethe University Frankfurt under the supervision of Prof. Darrel Moellendorf. In the summer of 2016, he moved to Cambridge (MA) to join Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as a Predoctoral Research Fellow in the Belfer Center’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. After submitting his dissertation (“On the Ethics and Politics of Climate Engineering”), he joined the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) as the Bernheim Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Responsibility. Daniel defended his dissertation (2018) and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Goethe University until joining the Institute for Practical Ethics in the fall of 2018.


  • Amy Zhou

    Amy Zhou

    Amy Zhou earned her BA and PhD in Sociology from UCLA and is now a postdoctoral scholar at the Institute for Practical Ethics. She is a medical sociologist interested in health inequalities in the US and global setting. One line of her research critically examines the impact of global health policies. Her dissertation was based on fieldwork in Malawi; she looked at the tensions between global institutions and national governments over how to develop HIV policies, and on the ground, how the design of health policies can lead to unexpected outcomes for providers and patients. Another line of research examines racial health inequalities in the US. Her research looked at the challenges and contested meaning of race in delivering racially targeted health services. At the Institute for Practical Ethics, Amy will do research on the social and ethical implications of gene drive technologies.

PhD Fellows

  • JiMin Kwon

    JiMin Kwon

    JiMin Kwon is a PhD student in the philosophy department. Before coming to UCSD, she obtained a BS in biology and philosophy from the University of Dayton and was an undergraduate research fellow at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. Her current research interests include philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and metaphysics. 

  • Riley I. Taitingfong

    Riley I. Taitingfong

    Riley Taitingfong is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication. Her research interests include Indigenous knowledge, science and technology studies, cultural meanings of health, and community engagement. Her current project looks at the development of gene drives for conservation purposes in Hawaiʻi, including how scientists and conservationists are engaging local communities in assessing the risks and benefits of gene drives, and how gene drives relate to Native Hawaiian epistemologies.

Visiting Scholars


  • Helen Olow

    Helen Olow

    Divisional Business Officer
    Dean’s Office, Arts & Humanities
    (858) 534-0054

  • Tara L. Nadeau

    Tara L. Nadeau

    Academic Personnel & Project Specialist
    Dean’s Office, Arts & Humanities
    (858) 822-4973



Institutional Collaborators

Related Programs

UC San Diego has several related programs offered as a resource to the Institute for Practical Ethics, providing opportunities for faculty and researchers to know more about these campus-wide communities.