Amanda J. Nichols outdoor portrait

Amanda J. Nichols

Otlet Fellow

Amanda J. Nichols is professor of chemistry at Oklahoma Christian University. Her primary areas of specialization are inorganic chemistry and materials, and she has an active bench research program supervising undergraduate research in these areas. She also has research interests in the history and philosophy of science, with particular emphasis in 19th century chemistry, aesthetics in science, and scientific realism. She has multiple coauthored philosophy of science publications, including “Realism About Molecular Structures” in Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences (2023, Routledge, Eds. Lawler, Khalifa, and Shech) and “Selective Scientific Realism and Truth-Transfer in Theories of Molecular Structure” in Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science (2021, Oxford University Press, Eds. Vickers and Lyons).

During her fellowship, Amanda explored “The Role of Women Chemists in the Development of Molecular Structure Theory: 1850–1920.” The current canonical narrative about the development of molecular structure theory does not include any women chemists even though there are several examples of women working in science and chemistry during this timeframe. Her research also explored the roles that aesthetic judgment played in the development of molecular models, as well as implications the historical development of the theory has for understanding realism and antirealism in science.