David Moscrop


Entered Ph.D.: Fall 2010

Email: david.moscrop@gmail.com

Dissertation: The Democratic mind: Cognitive Science and Democratic Citizenship

Dissertation summary: In my research I ask the question: Can we be autonomous deliberative citizens? Towards answering that question I examine the ways non-consciously processed stimuli and a-rational cognitive processes affect citizen deliberation in liberal democracies. I also theorize from empirical data the conditions under which such stimuli and processes assist decision making and under which conditions they detract from it. From that data I develop related concepts that suggest approaches to improving deliberation.

Supervisor: Mark Warren

Committee: Andrew Owen

                   Steven Heine (UBC Psychology)

Research interests:

Democratic theory; deliberative democracy; political philosophy; cognitive science; neuroscience; affect; Canadian politics; multiculturalism; citizenship; gender

Awards and fellowships:

– Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Government of Canada (2012-2015)

– SSHRC Fellowship, Government of Canada (Declined)

– University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship (2010-2014)

– Dean’s Scholarship, University of Ottawa (2008)

– Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Government of Ontario (2007-2008)

– Graduate Admissions Scholarship, University of Ottawa (Declined)

– University of Ottawa Excellence Scholarship, University of Ottawa (2007-2008)

Publications and presentations:


– 2008. This is your brain on politics: same-sex marriage and the thinking, feeling brain. University of Ottawa (master’s thesis)

Public Commentary (selected from 2011-2013);

– 2013. Chief Theresa Spence may fall victim to liberalism’s blind spots. The Globe and Mail. 01/04

– 2012. Why all men should be feminists. The Ottawa Citizen. 03/26. A9

– 2011. Don’t rob judges of their judgment. The Montreal Gazette. 08/17, A11

– 2011. Riots, meltdowns, and the brain. The Ottawa Citizen. 08/11, A11

– 2011. The Democracy Issue: what ships are for. Thought Out Loud. 04/21

– 2011. Vancouver’s public spaces: uses and abuses. OpenFile Vancouver. 07/08

– 2011. Why I’m a feminist. Thought Out Loud. 07/11

– 2011. Women’s worlds not big news, according to most local media. OpenFile Ottawa. 07/07

Conference presentations and panels

– 2013. “Democratic citizenship and the challenge of automaticity,” presented paper at the Annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association, Vancouver, British Columbia.

– 2013. “New approaches to the study of complex governance,” to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Victoria, British Columbia.

– 2012. “The good, the bad, and the ugly: the promises and perils of linking social science and cognitive science research,” presented at UBC Political Science Graduate Student Conference, UBC Department of Political Science

– 2011. “Diversity and cognitive science,” presented at Bowen Island Conference on Diversity, UBC Department of Political Science

Teaching Experience

September 2012 – January 2013
POLI 240: Currents of political thought
Professor Chris Erickson

September – December 2011
POLI 307: Quebec government and politics
Professor Allan Craigie

January – April 2011
POLI 100: Introduction to politics
Professor Bruce Baum

September – December 2010
POLI 100: Introduction to politics
Professor Chris Erickson

Research Assistantships

January 2012 – current
Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Max Cameron (director)
Research, communications, and event organization/logistics

April – June 2011
For Mark Warren and Alfred Moore
Conference organization and research

April – June 2011
For Bruce Baum