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Peter J. Taylor

Peter Taylor directs two Programs at the University of Massachusetts Boston: Critical & Creative Thinking; and Science, Technology & Values; and organizes the New England Workshop on Science and Social Change. His work is most clearly affiliated with the interdisciplinary area of Science and Technology Studies (STS), contributing to and connecting the disciplines of history, philosophy, and social/cultural studies of science, but it also maintains a close engagement with the life and environmental sciences themselves. Building on his early formation in the sciences and in political-environmental activism of the 1970s, he tries to frame STS interpretations of science in ways that can inform the current and future practices of researchers. "Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement" (U. of Chicago Press, 2005) synthesizes 20 years work examining the complexity of "intersecting processes" that cut across scales, involve heterogeneous components, and develop over time. Prof. Taylor is now taking these interests in new directions through engagement with various social epidemiological approaches that address the intersections of environment, health, and development. Recent publications (including three in "Biological Theory") raise new challenges to standard accounts of the relative size of genetic and environmental influences in human traits as well as to critiques of these accounts.