Hannah Rubin, recent logic and philosophy of science Ph.D. recipient, has been announced as the recipient of the 2017 Order of Merit Outstanding Graduate Scholarship award.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Missouri, Rubin made her way to UCI for her M.A. in mathematical and behavioral sciences before moving on to her Ph.D. program in LPS. Her studies have focused on the philosophy of biology, specifically evolutionary game theory, which she appreciates for its ability to blend her interests in philosophy and the biological sciences. In fact, it was UCI Distinguished professor Brian Skyrms’ book that led her down that path.
“As an undergraduate, when I was figuring out what to write my philosophy thesis on, my thesis advisor gave me Brian Skyrms’ Evolution of the Social Contract to read,” Rubin says. “At the same time, I was taking a course on evolution in the biology department and it just sort of clicked that I could pursue both philosophy and biology by studying evolutionary game theory.”
Centered on finding explanations for the evolution of social behaviors, there are always many debates going on in the field. That excitement is what appeals most to Rubin.
“These social behaviors are generally more complicated to explain in evolutionary theory than other traits because the success of an organism doesn’t just depend on that one organism, it depends on what others (its social partners) do,” she says. “So trying to figure out what arguments in biology are all about is what interests me most.”
While completing her doctoral program, Rubin presented or co-presented at 15 conferences around the world. Her work has been published in Biology and Philosophy and Erkenntnis, with additional works forthcoming. She served as the managing editor of UCI’s Philosophy of Science, was the head librarian for her department from 2013-17, and acted as a recruitment outreach coordinator for LPS for almost two years.
Since completing her Ph.D. program earlier this year, Rubin has accepted a research position at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, after which she will begin a tenure track position in the University of Notre Dame’s philosophy department.
Rubin will be recognized at the Order of Merit Awards Ceremony on June 16, 2017.