Alysha Kassam

I am interested in the role social and political values play in scientific research, especially in policy-relevant areas. My current dissertation project attempts to determine the correct basis for trust in science by the general public, and the way scientists should communicate their work given this basis. To better understand what obligations scientists have to non-experts when discussing their work, I consider the value-laden assumptions and consequences associated with the use of mathematical models in the social sciences. Mathematical models are increasingly relied upon as decision support tools, which estimate risk and generate recommendations to underpin public policy. However, complex models often hide the various ways non-epistemic values are embedded in their construction, thus making them difficult to evaluate by non-experts. I identify ethical risks associated with model development and implementation and consider the extent to which scientists are accountable for the transparent communication of model results to policymakers, so that the impacts of biased or uncertain predictions are clearly understood.  

I am currently a graduate student at the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science at UC-Irvine. I started the program in the fall of 2015.

I am a co-coordinator for DECADE, a diversity and inclusivity program in the school of Social Sciences at UC-Irvine.

My email address is: akassam@uci.edu / alyshask23@gmail.com