I’m a philosopher working on a spectrum of issues between philosophy of science and ethics.

My main focus concerns the logic and normative implications of evolutionary theory. So on the one hand I'm interested in the technical explanatory mechanics of natural selection and organisms. On the other, I'm interested in the broader consequences of our understanding of evolution: evolutionary history (progressive or not?), animal ethics (agency), and human nature (why successful? and should it be enhanced?).


I also work on the social dimensions of science, and especially in the tension between competition and integrity. I have published broadly on: research integrity, trust in science and scientists, the value-free ideal, professional ethics, the ethics of social media. I'm currently writing a manuscript provisionally entitled "What does it mean to trust the science?"

I'm currently affiliated with the IHPST (CNRS/Paris I) as a postdoctoral researcher, and the University of Antwerp as a part-time assistant professor.

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


  • 20-may-21 Accepted: The Selectionist Rationale for Evolutionary Progress. Biology and Philosophy.

  • 14-april-21 Published: Trust and professionalism in science: medical codes as a model for scientific negligence? BMC Biomedical Ethics. link

  • 7-april-21 Published: Precision Medicine, Data, and the Anthropology of Social Status. AJOB. link

  • 8-march-21 Published: Adapting to Environmental Heterogeneity: Selection and Radiation. Biological Theory. link

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