How should we understand the nature of science, the reliability of its methods and practices, and its role in democratic societies? These are the central questions for socially engaged philosophy of science. We approach these questions in a wide range of fields (e.g., biological sciences, environmental sciences, medicine, public health, agriculture) using an array of philosophical perspectives (e.g., concerning the proper place of values in science, the role of models and idealizations in science, the role for publics in science, the dynamics of interdisciplinary scientific teams, and the implications of ontologies). We work with scientists, policy makers, and members of the public to elucidate descriptive and normative issues central to science in society. 

Members of our community have received funding from the National Science Foundation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Kellogg Biological Station, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Sloan Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Program. We have worked with institutions and agencies such as the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, the United Egg Producers, Genome Canada, the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, and the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science. Our community offers the opportunity for advanced study and research in socially engaged philosophy of science for visiting scholars as well as for doctoral students enrolled in the Department of Philosophy and other programs at MSU.

The SEPOS group at MSU has set up an informal collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy and the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS) at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), Germany. For more information, please click here.

Contact Ted Richards for inquiries or more information.