When we think of the information age, the first thing that typically comes to mind is computers and the easy access to information of any kind that they allow. Rarely do we question what information is. But in the realm of the philosophy of science, the concept of information — particularly how it influences how biological studies are designed — has been the subject of debate for decades.

Complexity Postdoctoral Fellow Kelle Dhein hopes to shed new light on this debate by exploring how particular concepts of information influence present-day research in the behavioral sciences. He’ll draw on his background in the history and philosophy of science to explore how researchers who study experimental animal behavior use concepts about information to compare human and non-human systems. His project at SFI, “Humans, Animals and Machines: Behavior in the Information Age,” will build on Dhein’s past work on how scientists use concepts of information to justify certain claims about behavior. 

Dhein, a member of the Diné (Navajo) tribe, is also interested in Indigenous data sovereignty and is a consulting bioethicist at the Native BioData Consortium. He holds a Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science from Arizona State University and undergraduate degrees in biology, philosophy, and anthropology, also from ASU. Arriving Sept., 2022., supported by the Ford Foundation.