I’m a philosopher and ethicist of science and technology, with a focus on philosophy of biology, cultural evolution, and human enhancement, as well as values in science, trust, professionalism and integrity, and science communication. 


My two main current projects are: (1) understanding what it means to view organism behaviour as agent-like (intentional, deliberative) in a Darwinian framework, (2) understanding how science should be communicated to the broader public, whether that involves communicating about particular subdomains (evolutionary theory, climate science) or about science itself (e.g. “trust the science”).


I'm currently affiliated with the Leibniz Universität Hannover as a postdoctoral researcher, and the University of Antwerp as a part-time assistant professor.


To get in touch: hugh.desmond [at] gmail.com


  • Aug '22: Status Distrust in Experts. Published in Social Epistemology. link

  • Jun '22: "Reclaiming Care and Privacy in the Age of Social Media" for Values and Virtues in a Changing World (Jefferson et al., ed., Cambridge University Press)

  • Mar '22: "Status Distrust towards Scientific Experts" accepted in Social Epistemology

  • Jan '22: "The Integrated Information Theory of Agency" published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences

  • Dec '21: "In Service to Others: A New Evolutionary Perspective on Human Enhancement" published in the Hastings Center Report

upcoming talks