Meet the OPEN Scotland Team

Lani Watson: Network Coordinator

Lani Watson. OPEN Scotland Network Coordinator.
Lani Watson

Dr Lani Watson is a philosopher at the University of Edinburgh and the network coordinator for OPEN Scotland. She studies questions and questioning and has a special interest in the way in which questions are used in schools and classrooms to teach and learn. Lani thinks that good questioning is a key skill that should be taught in schools and believes that doing philosophy in schools and communities is a great way to teach this skill. As well as, Lani curates the website

Contact Lani for general enquiries about the OPEN Scotland network.

Daniel Calder: Secondary Schools Liaison

Daniel Calder. OPEN Scotland Secondary Schools Liaison.
Daniel Calder

Dr Daniel Calder is a teacher of religion and philosophy at George Watson’s Senior School and a project assistant for OPEN Scotland. He is currently in his probation year of teaching and is passionate about bringing philosophy to children, and bringing children to philosophy. He is an experienced facilitator of philosophical enquiry with children and with the elderly, and also teaches SQA certificated courses in philosophy at National 5 and Higher level. He completed his PhD in 2016 at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Andy Clark and his particular interest in cognition and artificial intelligence remains strong.

Contact Daniel for enquiries about philosophy in secondary schools.

Claire Field: Public Philosophy Liaison

Claire Field. OPEN Scotland Public Philosophy Liaison.
Claire Field

Claire Field is a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, specialising in Ethics and Epistemology. In summer 2018 she co-founded the Public Philosophy Network, which aims to train PhD students to do philosophy with the public in non-academic settings. Previously, she trained as a Specialist Philosophy Teacher with the Philosophy Foundation, and worked in schools around London. She sometimes performs philosophical stand up comedy, and has performed with the Bright Club, and the Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Stand Up Philosophy’. You can find out more about Claire at her website.

Contact Claire for enquiries about public philosophy training and events.

Rosa Hardt: Arts and Communities Liaison

Rosa Hardt. OPEN Scotland Arts and Communities Liaison.
Rosa Hardt

Dr Rosa Hardt is a philosopher, facilitator, and OPEN Scotland liaison for philosophical discussions in communities and the arts. Rosa is an accredited Specialist Philosophy Teacher with The Philosophy Foundation, and has worked in Edinburgh schools, a women’s prison, in the community, and in collaboration with artists. As a philosopher, Rosa is interested in the relationship between feeling, acting and thinking. Her PhD thesis argued that our ability to tell and understand stories emerges with our capacity to work out and act on our values. You can find out more about Rosa at her website here.

Contact Rosa for enquiries about philosophy with arts and community organisations.

Daniela Machado: Secondary Schools Liaison

Daniela Machado is currently a Master’s student at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating with a philosophy degree in 2013, Daniela completed Stage 1 training with The Philosophy Foundation in London and moved to Edinburgh shortly afterwards, where she graduated as a secondary school teacher in Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies at Strathclyde University. Working in large comprehensive schools in Edinburgh over the last few years, Daniela participated in, organised and facilitated a variety of outreach projects – including joint projects with philosophy and English classes in Denmark and an interdisciplinary ‘Prison Design’ project with expert academics from a variety of departments at the University of Edinburgh. In addition to implementing philosophical inquiry into her classroom teaching, she also provided and coordinated training placements for philosophers who had completed their training with The Philosophy Foundation. Daniela is interested in working with primary schools, secondary schools, the community and businesses.

Contact Daniela for enquiries about philosophy in secondary schools.

Katie Monk: Philosophy in Prisons Liaison

Katie Monk. OPEN Scotland Philosophy in Prisons Liaison.
Katie Monk

Dr Katie Monk is a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy at The University of Edinburgh. She has worked on a wide variety of outreach projects; at high schools, primary schools, charities, businesses and a prison. She is currently working with 3 schools, a business, and HMP Edinburgh (along with Mog Stapleton). She is keen to help get philosophy into the community, and share expertise.

Contact Katie for enquiries about philosophy in prisons.

Kate Nave: Primary Schools Liaison

Kate Nave: OPEN Scotland Primary Schools Liaison
Kate Nave

Kathryn (Kate) Nave is a PhD student in philosophy of cognition at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on developing the connections between Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, specifically: exploring how the Husserlian account of visual experience and predictive processing can inform each other, to help map the content of conscious experience onto the mechanisms of the brain. She is currently a Philosopher-in-Residence at Abbeyhill Primary School, and is keen to help with expand the presence of P4C of in primary education.

Contact Kate for enquiries about philosophy in primary schools.

Mog Stapleton: Philosophy in Prisons Liaison

Mog Stapleton. OPEN Scotland Philosophy in Prisons Liaison.
Mog Stapleton

Dr Mog Stapleton is a postdoctoral research assistant in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on affective and emotional contributions to cognition and experience, with a particular current interest in relating this work to learning and education. Mog has experience doing philosophy in Scottish prisons gained by working in the Philosophy in Prisons project led by Mary Bovill and Duncan Pritchard in 2017 and 2018. She is currently setting up (with Katie Monk) a new collaboration between the Philosophy Department at Edinburgh and Edinburgh Prison. She is keen to help expand the presence of philosophy in prisons and at-risk groups in the community and bring philosophers engaged in these kinds of projects into dialogue with each other.

Contact Mog for enquiries about philosophy in prisons.

Dave Ward: Universities Liaison

Dave Ward. OPEN Scotland Universities Liaison.
Dave Ward

Dr Dave Ward is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and the department’s Community Outreach Director. His research focuses on understanding how our social and emotional nature shapes our abilities to perceive, act, and think. Dave has received training in facilitating philosophical discussion from the Philosophy Foundation and SAPERE, and since 2016 has been involved in various projects to bring philosophy into Edinburgh schools where the subject is underrepresented.

Contact Dave for enquiries about university outreach activities and events.

Lee Whittington: Social Media and Events Liaison

Lee  Whittington. OPEN Scotland Social Media and Events Liaison.
Lee Whittington

Dr Lee John Whittington completed his PhD in the philosophy of luck at the University of Edinburgh and is OPEN Scotland’s social media and events liaison. His primary research concerns alternative approaches to understand luck, risk, and chance, and he occasionally works in the philosophy of emotions. He has previously worked for the Royal Institute of Philosophy teaching philosophy in schools, and has been involved with several programmes and initiatives designed to introduce philosophy to young people in Scotland and England. You can find some of Lee’s research here and can watch a video of his work on risk here.

Contact Lee with news and events you would like to see promoted through the OPEN Scotland network and social media channels.