We investigate how values influence species classifications, how this affects the different uses to which these classifications are put, and how any problems caused by this value-ladenness may be resolved. We do this through various research lines, using both empirical and theoretical methods.
We aim to answer three broad question:
1) Which non-epistemic factors influence taxonomy, and what is their impact?
2) What are the consequences of disorder in taxonomy?
3) How might we solve problems caused by taxonomic disorder?
We use a combination of interviews, surveys, observation of research practice, text and data mining, bibliometric methods, and philosophical analysis to answer the research questions.
We aim to engage with taxonomists, philosophers, and users of species classifications alike. In line with this, we publish our findings in both philosophical and biological journals. In addition, we actively try to disseminate our results to a wider audience. To do this, we pay particular attention to the potential local implications of our findings.
The core research team consists of philosophers and biologists, and active collaborators of the project also include specialists in digital humanities and information sciences.