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Deborah G. Mayo

Deborah G. Mayo, Professor Emerita of Philosophy

Deborah G. Mayo, Professor Emerita of Philosophy
Deborah G. Mayo, Professor Emerita of Philosophy

Department of  Philosophy
Major Williams Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Deborah G. Mayo, professor of philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor emerita” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1979, Mayo brought international visibility to the university through her scholarship in the philosophy of statistics, principles of inference, and the philosophy of science.

She wrote an award-winning book, Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge, and authored or coauthored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reviews.

Mayo held leadership positions in such professional organizations as the Philosophy of Science Association and served as a visiting professor at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Among her many professional honors and awards was the 1998 Lakatos Award in Philosophy of Science.

In the classroom, she taught both undergraduate and graduate courses. She served on numerous master’s degree and doctoral committees in philosophy, economics, and science and technology studies.

She held appointments in the Virginia Tech Center for the Study of Science and Society and in the Department of Economics.

  • Philosophy of Statistics
  • Philosophy of Science
  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1979
  • Philosophy of Science Association 
  • Lakatos Award in Philosophy of Science


Journal Articles

  • Mayo, D. (2014) “On the Birnbaum Argument for the Strong Likelihood Principle,” (with discussion and rejoinder) Statistical Science, 29(2), 227-239, 261-266.
  • Mayo D. and Cox, D. R. (2011) “Statistical Scientist Meets a Philosopher of Science: A Conversation with Sir David Cox” in Rationality, Markets and Morals: Studies at the Intersection of Philosophy and Economics, (M. Albert, H. Lkiemt and B. Lahno eds), An open access journal publiched by the Frankfurt School: Verlag. Volume 2 (2011), 103-114.
  • Mayo, D. and Spanos, A. (2011) "Error Statistics" in Philosophy of Statistics , Handbook of Philosophy of Science Volume 7 Philosophy of Statistics, (Volume eds. Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay and Malcolm R. Forster. General editors: Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard and John Woods) Elsevier: 1-46.

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