BScA, MA (Laval), PhD (Western)
My research and teaching focus on the history of modern physics and on the evolution of ethical thinking in engineering and architecture.
My research on the history and philosophy of physics, which stems from the work I did for my MA in Philosophy (Laval) and Ph.D in Philosophy (Western Ontario) explore scientific evidence. I have written on questions such as: Why do we believe Einstein discovered Special Relativity given that Poincaré had already presented the same formula to the Académie des Sciences? Did Heisenberg understand his own Principle of Indeterminacy? Can thought experiments–that is, the experiments we only perform in the “laboratory of our mind” like Schrödinger’s Cat and Maxwell’s Demon–tell us something new about the laws of nature?
In the past years, I have also had the chance to revisit my interests in technology (I have a B Sc. A in Engineering Physics (Laval)) and my work on material culture has led me to appreciate engineering and architecture as liberal arts. I am now working on the history of engineering in Canada. I am especially interested in the evolution of ethical thinking in engineering and architecture and their social implications.
I have organized a number of international conferences and workshop and have been co-manager of the Atlantic node of the SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Cluster, Situating Science, a seven-year project that promoted new ways of bringing together leading Canadian and international scholars studying science and technology from philosophical, historical, sociological, and cultural perspectives.
Journal special issues
INTERESTS: Early 20th-century physics (quantum mechanics, relativity), history of technology and engineering, thought experiments, justification of scientific theories, material culture of science.