Area of Specialization: Ontology
As an undergraduate, Barry Smith studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of Oxford, before earning his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester in 1976. Currently, he holds the position of Julian Park Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, and, Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Computer Science, and Neurology at the University of Buffalo. As evidenced from his professorial titles, Smith occupies both the role of philosopher and scientist, blending the two areas of study through his dual focus on ontology and biomedical informatics.
Smith has published articles in as many scientific publications as he has in philosophical publications, and his approach can be roughly described as applied ontology, as opposed to the very theoretical approach that is usually associated with ontology. Smith’s influence is notable outside of academia, such as his involvement with global health organizations in advancing biomedical informatics, and even with the U.S. Army and Air Force. Recently, TheBestSchools.org, an independent organization comprised of a dedicated group of educators, named Smith among the 50 most influential living philosophers.