Roberta L. Millstein

Roberta L. Millstein I am a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at UC Davis; in addition, I am affiliated with the Science and Technology Studies (STS) Program, the John Muir Institute of the Environment, and the UC Davis Interdisciplinary Animal Studies Research Group.

I am a Co-Editor of the peer-reviewed open-access online journal Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology. I am also a member of the Executive Committee and Council for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division (AAAS-PD) and a member of Council for the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB). I am on the editorial boards for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the journal Philosophy of Science. I served as the Senior Co-Chair of the PSA Women's Caucus (2013-2017), on the Governing Board of the PSA (2010-2013), as Secretary of ISHPSSB (2007-2011), and as an Elected Member-at-Large for the Section on History and Philosophy of Science of the AAAS (2014-2018). I periodically blog for the Davisite group blog and the New APPS group blog.

2015 Philosophy of Biology Lab << Griesemer/Millstein philosophy of biology lab
2014 u-POW <<- A group for Undergraduate Philosophically Oriented Women (u-POW)

Contacting me:

By snail mail:

Professor Roberta L. Millstein
Department of Philosophy
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8673

By email:

By phone: 530-754-0715 (not a good way to reach me - please email)


My research is in the philosophy of science and the history & philosophy of biology as well as environmental ethics.

My research interests include the way that general topics in the philosophy of science, such as causation, mechanisms, probability, and determinism, illuminate and are illuminated by topics in evolutionary biology and ecology. I am also particularly interested in intersections between evolutionary biology, ecology, and environmental issues.

Recent work examines the concepts of 'fitness,' 'population', and 'random drift'; race and sexual selection; and connections between population genetics and ecology. I am currently working on projects exploring Patricia Gowaty's adaptively flexible sex role model, on the importance of interconnectedness in Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic, and on the way that laboratory experiments, field experiments, and natural experiments can jointly inform us about ecological and evolutionary interactions.

I am a co-editor of Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics with Hsiang-Ke Chao and Szu-Ting Chen (see book review by Anya Plutynski). I have published in journals such as Philosophy of Science, Biology and Philosophy, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Journal of the History of Biology, Ethics, Policy & Environment and Biological Theory.

Papers online



Other pages


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