Bio (voir version française)

Frédéric Bouchard Ph.D. FRSC is Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Full Professor in the Philosophy Department at the Université de Montréal. As a philosopher of science , His interdisciplinary research focuses on the relationship between expertise, science and society, as well as on the theoretical foundations of evolutionary biology and ecology. .

After a BA and MA at the Université de Montréal, he pursued a doctorate in philosophy at Duke University (Ph.D. 2004), and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto (2005).

He serves as Chair of BAnQ (Québec National Library and Archives), of the CFI Major Science Initiative Érudit, an open digital publishing platform, and of the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV)

He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2021 in recognition for the excellence of his scholarship. The République française named him (2023) chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes académiques.

Dr. Bouchard brings substantial experience in supporting governmental decision-making. He chaired the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System that provided independent, expert policy advice to support the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry (ISI) and the Minister of Health to “modernize the federal research funding ecosystem to maximize the impact of investments in both research excellence and downstream innovation”. The full report was made public March 20th 2023

Previously, he served as member of the expert advisory panel for Québec’s 2017-2022 research and innovation strategy (Ministère de l’économie et de l’innovation) and on the committee establishing the new curriculum for all CÉGEP (equivalent of junior college) students in natural sciences in Québec (Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur ); He was also advisor for Canada’s Translation Bureau.

Professor Bouchard contributes his broad interdisciplinary and administrative expertise to several organizations promoting academic research, knowledge mobilization, technological and social innovation. He is currently a board member of MILA (Québec Artificial Intelligence Institute), RUISSS-UdeM ( the Integrated University Health and Social Services Network of the Université de Montréal) and CIUSSS-Nord-de-l’île (the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre for the North of the Island of Montreal). He has served as member of the board of the funding agencies FRQSC Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et Culture (2012-2015) and the council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (2018-2022).

Professor at Université de Montréal since 2005, he was the inaugural holder of the ÉSOPE Endowed Chair of Philosophy at the Université de Montréal (2014-2016), and served as President of the Canadian Philosophical Association (2014-2015) as well as President of ACFAS (2015-2018), a multi-disciplinary francophone association dedicated to the global advancement of scientific research. Before becoming Dean in 2017, he was Deputy Vice-Rector for Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation at Université de Montréal (2015-2017) and director of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie  (CIRST 2014-2015).

A gifted communicator, he was awarded several teaching awards at the Université de Montréal, and is often sought by the media on philosophical and scientific issues (from CBC Ideas to various shows on Radio-Canada).


Through his research and teaching, Frédéric Bouchard shows the contribution of philosophy to scientific research and our understanding of nature and, conversely, how advances in science can contribute to classical philosophical problems. His recent work focuses on the foundations of evolutionary theory (particularly the ways in which biologists define and measure fitness) and ecology (how to conceive of ecosystems and biodiversity). He is also interested in various philosophy of science issues such as the role of scientific expertise in democratic society and public decisions, and also the ontological question of biological individuality (e.g. can termite colonies and ecosystems be studied as a ‘superorganisms’ and what does this tell us about our understanding of what is an individual).

You can read his thoughts on these issues in philosophical journals  (e.g. Philosophy of Science, Biology and Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) as well as in scientific journals (ex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Genome Biology and Evolution, Biological Theory, Bioscience, Microbiome)

He has co-edited two volumes

Frédéric Bouchard and Philippe Huneman (CRNS-Paris I) From Groups to Individuals: Evolution and Emerging Individuality, MIT Press, 288p, 2013.

Julien Prud’homme, Pierre Doray, Frédéric Bouchard (Eds), Science, technologies et sociétés de A à Z, Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 249 p, 2015.

(see Publications )

More info

More information is available in his short CV or le complete CV.

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