PhD student, Applied Philosophy

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at the University of Waterloo?

I chose to pursue my PhD at the University of Waterloo because I view my research interests as heavily applied, something that UWaterloo also prizes. The philosophy department at UWaterloo interested me because they offer an applied program with the opportunity for an applied research placement.

Thomas MilovacDescribe your research and what makes you passionate about it:

My research at Waterloo has been quite varied, I completed a Research Area in epistemology and values in science, as well as an Applied Research Placement in bioethics, which centered on medical assistance in dying. Currently, I am working on my dissertation which aims to understand the relationship between overprescribing pharmaceuticals and environmental harm. I'm passionate about my research because it deals with real issues, and insight into the aforementioned ethical problems can potentially have practical impacts.

Tell us about where you are from:

I began my academic journey at the University of Toronto where I graduated with High Distinction with an Honours Bachelor's of Science in psychology and philosophy. I then attended the University of Western Ontario where I completed a Master of Arts in Philosophy.

What is the best part about being a grad student?

The best part of being a graduate student is the freedom to explore my academic interests beyond the classroom.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

For new graduate students, the best advice I can offer is to be open to learning new material and to take each and every opportunity to share your work with others; there is no better place than a conference to receive constructive criticism for your work.

What are some of the challenging aspects of being a graduate student and how do you address these challenges?

A challenging aspect of being a graduate student is dealing with large-scale projects, such as a dissertation. I think the scope of a dissertation can be daunting, but viewing it in smaller pieces, as chapters or sections of chapters, can help make the project as a whole more digestible.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share that is interesting about yourself?

Recently, I penned a book about the Covid-19 pandemic titled: Covid-19 in Canada and Abroad: Essays on the Pandemic, it deals with the science and policy measures that have become paradigmatic of the pandemic. The book aims to look at issues surrounding the pandemic from a novel perspective, one that engages with and attempts to understand different points of view and the scientific evidence for such positions. What began as an attempt to better understand the policies and literature of the pandemic, became a drive to write about and document the pandemic, which has serendipitously culminated in a book.

Country of origin: Canada

Domestic or International: Domestic

Academic stream: Research

Full-time or part-time: Full-time

Research supervisorChristopher Lowry

University of Waterloo