Quayshawn Spencer, an associate professor of philosophy, has been named the Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy. An influential scholar of philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of race, Spencer has published articles in a variety of academic journals, including Philosophy of Science and Philosophical Studies, and his co-authored monograph, “What is Race? Four Philosophical Views,” is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. His research has received support from the National Science Foundation, the Fleishhacker Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.
Spencer has served on the Penn Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee, and the Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers for the American Philosophical Association. He is the co-founder and former Chairman of the Board of the Society of Young Black Philosophers, and serves as an editorial board member for three philosophy journals, Biology & Philosophy, Critical Philosophy of Race, and Ergo.
The Robert S. Blank Presidential Professorship was established in 2017 by Nancy L. Blank in memory of her husband, Robert S. Blank. Mr. Blank was an Emeritus Trustee at Penn. He was also an Emeritus Member of the Penn Medicine Board and of the Board of Overseers of Penn’s Law School, and was a former Overseer of the Wharton School. The Blanks generously supported initiatives across the University including Penn Law, Wharton, Penn Medicine, and Penn Arts and Sciences. Their three children are also Penn graduates and supporters: Wendy Blank Chaikin, Samuel A. Blank, and Matthew S. Blank.