David Peterson


Contact Information

Email    Davidapeterson@ucla.edu
Office  Not Available

I am a sociologist who studies the practices and politics of social science in laboratories, in the broader academy, and in society. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow working with Jacob Foster on a study of a new field of science called Diverse Intelligences. Diverse Intelligences brings together psychologists, neuroscientists, evolutionary biologists, information theorists, ethnologists, philosophers, and artificial intelligence researchers to map out both the complex dimensions of intelligence as well as the incredible variety of entities that act intelligently. In this project, which will have qualitative and quantitative components, we are hoping to better understand the possibilities of multiple disciplinary science at a time when such research is direly needed.  

In a second project, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, I am studying an experiment in scientific collaboration in which scientists who back competing theories about conscoiusness are brought together to create an experiment that could adjudicate between them. This "adversarial collaboration" model will shed new light on the nature of presistent scientific controversies. 

My other areas of interest include metascience, the crisis of expertise, and the intersection of artificial intellgence and science. 


PhD, Northwestern University


2020   “The Study of the Formation, Practice and Effect of Adversarial Collaboration in Consciousness research” (Co-PI) from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, $139.692.

Selected Publications

-Freese, Jeremy, & Peterson, David. 2018. “The Emergence of Statistical Objectivity.” Sociological Theory, 36(3), 289-313.
-Peterson, David. 2017. “The Depth of Fields: Managing Focus in the Epistemic Subcultures of Mind and Brain Science.” Social Studies of Science, 47(1), 53-74.
-Peterson, David. 2016. “The Baby Factory: The Production of Statistical Significance in Improbable Circumstances” Socius, 1(2), 1-10.
-Peterson, David. 2015. “All that is Solid: Bench-Building at the Frontiers of Two Experimental Sciences.” American Sociological Review, 80(6), 1201-1225.