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faculty member

  • Prof. Ayelet Shavit
  • Associate Professor
  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Education - B.A., Education M.A.
  • +972(0)507277200
  • [email protected]
  • A philosopher of science, interested in ecology, evolution and environmental and social injustice. 

  • I am a philosopher of biology, the 2018 winner of the "Higher Education Prize" for a young faculty member, awarded by the Israeli Council for Higher Education. I am a faculty member at the faculty of Sciences and the faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and I raise three young boys in the beautiful Upper Galilee. Trying to combine all the above, I co-founded “Town-Square Academia”: a pro-active academia-community partnership , which teams local and academic experts to volunteer together, teach free courses in underprivileged communities and produce relevant knowledge to both.

    • Involved Philosophy: the objective is to galvanize, test and explicate a pro-active and multidisciplinary line of research (‘Involved Academia’), which will study constitutive scientific concepts and destabilize borders and hierarchies within and between the academia and the local community (for example, see details on ‘Town Square Academia’).
    • Philosophy of Science: a study of the intersection between biological facts, values, databases and the different meanings of fundamental scientific concepts: ‘location’, ‘space’, ‘time’ and ‘replication’. A localized history of these concepts is needed, e.g. how they are recorded, archived and transformed into working protocols, in order to better understand these concepts and how scientific theory and practice intertwine.
    • Evolution of Cooperation: A study of the different meaning of ‘group’, ‘collectivity’ and ‘individuality’ in evolutionary debates, their link to interactive models (e.g. 'developmental scaffolding", ‘niche construction’) and the history of images and ideologies linked to the debates over the evolution of altruism and cooperation.
    • Biodiversity Conservation: a study of how eco-social 'difference' and 'diversity' is recorded and conserved in biodiversity hotspots, and examining the role of ‘local knowledge’ in changing standard ecological methodology, models  and science-based conservation policy.
  • Sample Courses

    2006-2007- "Conflict, Cooperation and Competition", Dep. of Philosophy and the Center for Population Biology, The University of California at Davis, CA U.S.A., Undergraduate seminar

    2008-  "Introduction to Philosophy of Science", "Evolution and Society", "Science and Values",  "Alturism", Dep. of Multidisciplinary Studies, Tel-Hai College, Undergraduate courses

    2010-       "Biodiversity: theoretical and practical dimensions", "Basic Concepts  in Evolution" Dep. of Environmental Science, Tel-Hai College, Israel, Undergraduate courses

    2014-    “Philosophy of Science for Social Workers”, graduate courses, Dep. of  Social Work”, Tel-Hai College, Israel

    2015-      “Critical Theories of Education”, graduate students, "Philosophy of Education", Dep. of Education, undergraduate studies, Tel-Hai College, 


  • 2001    "The Bar Hillel prize" awarded by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel for a single M.A. student in the History and Philosophy of Science Program

    2004    "The Bloomfield Prize" – awarded by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for the number one Ph.D. prize in the Humanities and the Social Sciences,  Israel

    2007    "Honorable Mention of Excellence", for Post-Doctoral Researchers at the University of California at Davis, CA USA

    2009- "Teacher of Distinction" awarded five times by Tel Hai College, Israel

    2018 - "Higher Education Prize" for a young faculty member, awarded by the National Israeli Council for Higher Education. 

  • Sample Publications


     Sample Publications in Peer-Refereed Journals

    • Shavit, A. 2001, “Diversity of Selection Processes in the Evolution of Cooperation”, Selection 2: 223-236.
    • Shavit, A. 2004, "Shifting Values Partly Explain the Debate Over Group Selection", Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35: 697-720.
    • Shavit, A. 2005, "The Notion of Group and Tests of Group Selection", Philosophy of Science 72: 1052-1063.
    • Nachtomy O., Shavit A. and Yakhini Z. 2007, "The Notion of the Phenotype and Gene Expression" Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 38:238-254.
    • Shavit, A. and Millstein R.L. 2008, “Group Selection is Dead. Long Live Group Selection?” Bioscience 58: 574-578.
    • Shavit, A. and Griesemer R. James, 2009, “There and Back, or, The Problem of Locality in Biodiversity Research” Philosophy of Science 76: 273-294.
    • Kasler, J., Shavit A. and Harel, N. 2014, “My Personal Moral Campus”, The International Journal of Humanities Education 13 (1): 13-27.
    • Shavit, A. 2015, "The Power of Minute Distinctions", Iyyun 64: 192-204 (Hebrew).
    • Shavit A. and Silver Y. 2016, “To Infinity and Beyond!” Inner Tensions in Global Knowledge- Infrastructures Promote Local and Pro-active ‘Location’ Information”, Science and Technology Studies 29 (4): 31-49.
    • Shavit A. 2016, “’Location’ Incommensurability and ‘Replication’ Indeterminacy: Clarifying an Entrenched Conflation by Using an Involved Approach”, Perspectives on Science 24: 425-442
    • Shavit, A., and Griesemer R. 2017, "Science and Sentiment: Grinnell's Fact-Based Philosophy of Biodiversity Conservation", Journal of the History of Biology (DOI: 10.1007/s10739-017-9489-4).
    • Sample Chapters in Peer Reviewed Books 
    • Shavit, A, 2001, “Is Nietzsche Present in the Kibbutz’s Education System?” In J Golomb (ed.) Nietzsche, Zionism and Hebrew Culture (Jerusalem: Magnes Press. Hebrew)
    • Shavit, A. and Griesemer J.R. (2011a) “Transforming Objects into Data: How Minute Technicalities of Recording Species Location Entrench a Basic Theoretical Challenge for Biodiversity”, in Science in the Context of Application, M. Carrier and A. Nordmann (eds.), London: Springer, pp. 169-193.
    • Shavit, A. and Griesemer J.R. (2011b), “Mind the Gaps: Why are Niche Construction Processes so Rarely Used?”, in Lamarckian Transformations: From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology, G. Snait and E. Jablonka (eds.), Cambridge Mass: MIT press, pp. 307-317.
    • Silver Y. and Shavit A. 2017, “Learning from Success and Success in Learning, the Case of Agora Academey” in Academic-Community Partnership: Learning from Success, D. Golan and Z. Or (eds.) Tel Aviv: Mofet Publications. (Hebrew)
    • Shavit A. and Ellison A.R. 2017, “A Taxonomy of Replication”, in Stepping in the Same River Twice: Replication in Biological Research, A. Shavit A. and A.R. Ellison (eds.) New Haven: Yale University Press.
    • Helm B. and Shavit A. 2017, “Deconstructing and Reconstructing Space and Time in Biological Research” A. Shavit A. and A.R. Ellison (eds.) New Haven: Yale University Press.
    • Shavit A., Kolombus A. and Silver Y. “Collectives, Robustness and Epistemic Injustice”, S. Gisis, Shavit A. and Lamm E (eds.) Landscapes of Collectivity (Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press. 2018).
  • CV download
  • Town Sqaure Academia - The Guardian

    Town Square Academia - TEDx 

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