Katie Steele

Associate Professor of Philosophy, London School of Economics and Political Science

Katie Steele studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of Queensland before completing a
Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2007 at the University of Sydney. She continued in Sydney as a Research
Fellow at the Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis before accepting a position at the London
School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is now Associate Professor at LSE in the
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method.

Steele’s research in philosophy concerns the interface of science and policy decision making; she has
published a number of philosophy papers in this general area. One of her principal interests is the
assessment and representation of scientific uncertainty, and the question of what it means to choose
rationally under uncertainty of varying character. This work continues, in collaboration with several LSE
colleagues, under the project ‘Managing Severe Uncertainty’, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities
Research Council.

Steele has recently directed her theoretical work towards issues that arise in climate-change science and
decision making, and since 2011 is an Associate of LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change
and the Environment. Steele has co-published on the role of evidence of past climate in assessing confidence
in climate-model predictions, and continues to work on related evidential issues. She has also explored the
ethical dimension of climate change, and in particular the ethical status of ‘realist’ approaches to international
climate policy. While at SCAS, Steele will turn the ethical spotlight on uncertainty itself. One key question
is: What does it mean to make ‘conservative’ decisions in the face of uncertainty, and is this ethically desirable?
She will also investigate the special ethical issues that arise in the context of collective-action decision problems,
as is the case with climate change.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2014-15.