On behalf of Northeastern University, Professor Rory Smead, Associate Professor of Philosophy in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, has been named as the inaugural Ronald L. and Linda A. Rossetti Professor for the Humanities. The Rossetti Professor is a newly endowed position for a Northeastern University colleague of distinction who will also run the Rossetti Family Program for the Advancement of the Humanities to “target students in the STEM fields to inspire a love of the humanities.”
Rory Smead is particularly well positioned to conceive and run such a program. His research focuses on the philosophy of science in addition to evolution and game theory. He is currently investigating how harmful behavior such as spite may be related to beneficial social and ethical norms. Rory applies evolutionary game theory to questions surrounding cooperation, communication, learning, fairness, and morality. He approaches traditional humanistic issues with cutting-edge formal methods that are used in disciplines from evolutionary biology to economics. Moreover, his expertise in philosophy of science – which is at its core about standards of justification, evidence, and knowledge – allows him to critically evaluate and improve upon these methods. His research addresses deep questions about the human condition and experience, particularly its social character.