Origin Stories: Quayshawn Spencer (Video)

The Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy on his early love of biology, his turn into the philosophy of science, and his educational journey from Nashville to Cornell to Stanford.

Origin Stories is a feature of OMNIA in which we highlight the journeys of members of our faculty as they followed their paths from impressionable young students to world-class scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields.



Is race a real biological thing? Quayshawn Spencer was drawn to science early and on his way to becoming a biochemist when he ran into that question in a philosophy class and changed his career. Spencer, Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy, is a specialist in the philosophies of science, biology, and race. He uses his training in philosophy and biology to investigate the study of human genetics, and whether there exists any biological racial classification that is useful in medical research. He is a coauthor of What Is Race? Four Philosophical Views.



Video by Alex Schein

Photos by Brooke Sietinsons