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Assistant Professor

University of Central Oklahoma (405) 974-5615 Humanities and Philosophy LAN 204A , Box 166

Education and Certifications

Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Cincinnati (Philosophy and the Life Sciences track)

M.A., Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Cincinnati

B.A., Psychobiology and Philosophy, Hiram College


Vanessa Bentley's research interests are in philosophy of science (neuroscience), bioethics, neuroethics, the ethics of scientific research, and feminist philosophy of science, with a focus on the neuroimaging of sex/gender differences and feminist practices in science. Her approach to philosophy of science involves: (1) paying attention to scientific practice -- how a research question turns into a hypothesis and how it is experimentally tested, analyzed, and interpreted; and, (2) the relationship between society and science -- how social trends affect science and how science affects the rest of society.


In college, I joined philosophy club because I didn’t know anything about philosophy. Philosophy club turned into taking a philosophy course. I took some more courses, and a philosophy minor turned into a philosophy major, along with my original major, psychobiology. At the time, I still fully intended to pursue cognitive neuroscience. After college, I worked in a brain-scanning laboratory as a research assistant before eventually returning to philosophy. Now I do the philosophy of the sciences that I love – neuroscience, psychology, and biology! I use feminist philosophy of science to investigate the practices involved in the neuroimaging of human sex/gender differences.

Classes Taught

At University of Central Oklahoma:

  • Logic and Critical Thinking
  • Engineering Ethics
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Women and Values

At Centre College, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Cincinnati:

  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Contemporary Moral Problems
  • Moral and Political Ideas: Modern Europe
  • Bioethics
  • Violence, Sex, and Immorality: Video Games and Philosophy
  • Science, Philosophy, and Society
  • Neuroethics
  • Feminism and Philosophy
  • Feminism and Philosophy of Science

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

(forthcoming), Feminism and Cognitive Neuroscience, in the Routledge Handbook of Feminist Philosophy of Science (Sharon Crasnow and Kristen Intemann, eds.).

2019, Improving Practices for Investigating Spatial ‘Stuff’: Part I: Critical Gender Perspectives on Current Research Practices, with Annelies Kleinherenbrink, Gina Rippon, Diana Schellenberg, and Sigrid Schmitz. Scholar and Feminist Online, 15 (2). Link:

2019, Improving Practices for Investigating Spatial ‘Stuff’: Part II: Considerations from Critical NeuroGenderings Perspectives, with Annelies Kleinherenbrink, Gina Rippon, Diana Schellenberg, and Sigrid Schmitz. Scholar and Feminist Online, 15 (2). Link:

2019, Plasticity and Spatial Stuff under Western Neoliberal Order, with Annelies Kleinherenbrink and Sigrid Schmitz. Scholar and Feminist Online, 15 (2). Link:

2004, Group Size Does Not Influence Growth in the Theraphosid Spider Hysterocrates gigas (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Eumenophorinae).  The Journal of Arachnology, 32, 324-331. With M. Varrecchia and S.D. Marshall.

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