PhD candidate
Department of Philosophy + STS
The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver
xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory


Kinley Gillette is a PhD candidate in Philosophy and Science and Technology Studies (STS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, where he works at the intersection of the social epistemology of science and political theory—that is, political epistemology. His specific research interests include:

  • Expert authority and democracy
  • Politicization of science
  • Role of conservation social science in conservation science
  • Science studies methodology

Kinley’s dissertation is focused on motivating, clarifying, and (partially) answering the following question, in particular in the context of biodiversity conservation: How can non-experts feasibly hold expert authorities accountable without undermining the social-epistemic benefits of expert authorization? Given that accountability is essential to the democratization of expert authority, answering this question is critical for reconciling democratic inclusion with epistemic criteria for legitimacy. More concretely, answering this question is important for achieving environmental governance that is, at once, scientifically informed and, owing to its democratic legitimacy, less likely to provoke public backlash.

Kinley’s non-academic interests include amari, oysters, and—most recently—jello salads.