Evan Charney

Evan Charney

Associate Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Political Science; Fellow, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Evan Charney has a PhD in Government from Harvard University and an MA in Classics and Philosophy from Harvard. He has received fellowships from the Mellon, Javits, and Earhardt Foundations, and was the recipient of the first Susan Tift Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award.<

Charney's research concerns genetic, biological, and evolutionary explanations of human psychology and behavior, ranging from personality to political orientation. His current focus is on the methodologies (in particular twin, adoption, and gene association studies), presuppositions, and findings of the hybrid discipline known as behavioral genetics. He is engaged in a critical reexamination of these methodologies, presuppositions, and findings in light of 1) current research in molecular genetics and epigenetics, developmental biology, neuroscience, and evolutionary theory, along with the rise of the field of evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo"); and 2) methodological questions relating to a) the widespread use of widely available data sets in twin and gene association studies; and b) the employment of underspecified phenotypes and/or phenotypes that are value-laden and/or historically culturally contingent. Related research concerns the philosophy and sociology of science.

Charney has published articles in Brain and Behavioral Sciences, The American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, Political Theory, and PsyCrit.

Graduate Fellows