Kathryn S. Plaisance

Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Knowledge Integration


  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Psychology

Contact information:

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 48612
Office: Environment 1 (EV1), room 214
Email: kathryn.plaisance@uwaterloo.caki.chair@uwaterloo.ca

Kathryn Plaisance website


  • PhD Philosophy, University of Minnesota, USA, 2006
  • MA Philosophy, University of Minnesota, USA, 2004
  • BS Molecular Biology and Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, USA, 2000


  • Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Teaching Excellence Award, 2022
  • University of Waterloo Outstanding Performance Award, 2021
  • Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award, 2020-2021
  • University of Waterloo Distinguished Teacher, 2016

Research interests:

Philosophy of science, philosophy of the human behavioral sciences, socially relevant philosophy of science, social epistemology, interactional expertise, and interdisciplinary collaboration


For PDF copies of any publications, please email Katie Plaisance.

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Plaisance, Kathryn S. and Kevin C. Elliott (2021), “A Framework for Broadly Engaged Philosophy of Science,” Philosophy of Science vol 88 (4): 594-615 https://doi.org/10.1086/713891
  • Plaisance, Kathryn S., Jay Michaud, and John McLevey (2021), “Pathways of Influence: Understanding the Impact of Philosophy of Science in Scientific Domains,” Synthese, 199: 4865-4896. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-020-03007-1
  • Burgoyne, A. P., Carroll, S., Clark, D. A., Hambrick, D. Z., Plaisance K. S., Klump, K. L., & Burt, S. A. (2020). Can a brief intervention alter genetic and environmental influences on psychological traits? An experimental behavioral genetics approach. Learning and Motivation, 72, 101683. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lmot.2020.101683.
  • Plaisance, Kathryn S. (2020), “The Benefits of Acquiring Interactional Expertise: Why (Some) Philosophers of Science Should Engage Scientific Communities,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 83: 53-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2020.03.002
  • Plaisance, Kathryn S., Alexander V. Graham, John McLevey, and Jay Michaud (2019), “Show Me the Numbers: A Quantitative Portrait of the Attitudes, Experiences, and Values of Philosophers of Science Regarding Broadly Engaged Work,” Synthese, 198: 4603-4633. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02359-7
  • Burt, S. Alex, Kathryn S. Plaisance, and Zach D. Hambrick (2019), “Understanding ‘What Could Be’: A Call for Experimental Behavioral Genetics,” Behavior Genetics, 49: 235-243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-018-9918-y
  • McLevey, John, Alexander V. Graham, Reid McIlroy-Young, Pierson Brown, and Kathryn S. Plaisance (2018), “Interdisciplinarity and Insularity in the Diffusion of Knowledge: An Analysis of Disciplinary Boundaries Between Philosophy of Science and The Sciences,” Scientometrics, 117: 331-349. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2866-8
  • Plaisance, Kathryn S., and Eric B. Kennedy (2014), “A Pluralistic Approach to Interactional Expertise”, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 47: 60-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2014.07.001
  • Plaisance, Kathryn S., Thomas Reydon, and Mehmet Elgin (2012), "Why the (Gene) Counting Argument Fails in the Massive Modularity Debate: The Need for Understanding Gene Concepts and Genotype-Phenotype Relationships", Philosophical Psychology, 25(6): 873-892. https://doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2011.616268
  • Fehr, Carla and Kathryn S. Plaisance (2010), "Socially Relevant Philosophy of Science: An Introduction", Synthese, 177(3): 301-316. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-010-9855-7

Edited volumes

  • Plaisance, Kathryn S. and Thomas Reydon, eds. (2012) "Philosophy of Behavioral Biology", Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 282
  • Plaisance, Kathryn S. and Carla Fehr, eds. (2010), "Making Philosophy of Science More Socially Relevant", special issue of Synthese, vol. 177(3): 301-492.

Research grants / fellowships - current:

  • Principal Investigator, “Engaging Science with Philosophy: Best Practices for Fostering Effective Collaboration”, SSHRC Insight Grant, $188,179, 2020-26
  • Co-applicant, “Inventory of Models and Practices in Community Focused and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Humanities Research”, SSHRC Insight Development Grant, $60,764, 2021-23

Research grants / fellowships - completed:

  • Principal Investigator, “Developing a Collaborative Mindset”, UW/SSHRC Explore Grant, $6978, 2019-22
  • Co-applicant, “Understanding ‘What Could Be’: Heritability in a Randomized Twin Design”, Genetics and Human Agency Grant, $425,000 USD, 2017-19
  • Principal Investigator, “Increasing the Impact of Philosophy of Science in Scientific Domains”, SSHRC Insight Development Grant, $59,302, 2016-18
  • Principal Investigator, “Communities of Integration”, UW International Research Partnership Grant, $18,000 (+ $52,000 in matching funds), 2014-16
  • Principal Investigator, "Interactional Expertise, Collaboration, and the Philosophy of Science", Lois Claxton Humanities and Social Sciences Award, $5450, 2011-12
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Philosophy of Biology at the Centre for Philosophy and Ethics of Science (ZEWW), Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany, $90,000 EUR, 2007-2009

Scholarship of teaching and learning grants:

  • Learning and Innovation Teaching Enhancement (LITE) grant on “Building Capacity to Teach Collaborative Skills at the University of Waterloo” (2019-22)
  • Learning and Innovation Teaching Enhancement (LITE) grant on ““Closing the Collaborative Skills Gap: Assessing the Effectiveness of a University-Wide Course Designed to Teach Students How to Collaborate in Diverse Groups (2018-19)
  • Learning and Innovation Teaching Enhancement (LITE) grant on “Breaking Down Barriers: A Student-Led Conference on Interdisciplinary Collaboration” (2015-16)

Courses taught:

  • INTEG 210: Making Collaboration Work
  • INTEG 220: Nature of Scientific Knowledge
  • INTEG 221: The Social Nature of Knowledge
  • INTEG 375: Special Topics in Knowledge Integration: Science, Society and Values
  • INTEG 410: Interdisciplinary Collaboration (held with ERS 674 and BIOL 681)
  • INTEG 420 A & B: Senior Research Project A & B
  • INTEG 475: Socially Relevant Philosophy of Science (held with PHIL 458 and PHIL 673)