Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Lyman Briggs College
Robyn Bluhm’s research examines philosophical issues in neuroscience and in medicine, with a particular focus on the relationship between ethical and epistemological questions in these areas. She has written extensively on evidence-based medicine and on neuroscience research in psychiatry. Her edited collection Knowing and Acting in Medicine was published by Rowman and Littlefield International in December 2016.
Assistant Professor, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Department of Translational Science & Molecular Medicine
Laura Cabrera’s interests focus on the ethical and societal implications of neurotechnology and neuroscientific advances. She has been working on projects that explore the media coverage and the attitudes of the general public toward pharmacological and novel neurosurgical interventions for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. She has also worked on the public perceptions towards the use of different modalities of neuromodifiers for enhancement purposes, as well as their normative implications. Her current work also focuses on the ethical and social implications of environmental changes for brain and mental health.
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy
Heather Douglas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. from the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, and has held tenure-line positions since then at the University of Puget Sound, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Waterloo. She is the author of Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal (2009) as well as numerous articles on values in science, the moral responsibilities of scientists, and the role of science in democratic societies. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation. In 2016, she was named a AAAS fellow.
Professor, Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy
Kevin Elliot’s research interests lie at the intersection of the philosophy of science and practical ethics. He has worked on a range of issues, including investigating the roles of ethical and social values in environmental research, exploring how to respond to financial conflicts of interest in research, studying ethical issues surrounding science communication, exploring ethical issues surrounding emerging technologies, and studying how to promote scientific teams that are high functioning and inclusive. Because of his scholarship on social and ethical issues related to environmental pollution, he has been asked to serve on the advisory board of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions.
Assistant Professor, Lyman Briggs College
Dr. Megan K. Halpern is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, where she teached science communication and science studies at Lyman Briggs College. Her research interests include art/science collaboration, public engagement with science, feminist approaches to science communication, and research through design. She earned her PhD in Science Communication at Cornell University and completed her Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Arizona State University, with the Center for Nanotechnology and Society and the Center for Science and the Imagination. Before earning her PhD, Dr. Halpern was a theatre artist and the co-founder and Artistic Director of Redshift Productions, a company that created performances inspired by science.
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy
Catherine Kendig is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. She completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Exeter/ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society and her MSc in Philosophy and History of Science at King’s College London. Her main research interests are in philosophy of scientific classification (including normative aspects of classificatory and pre-classificatory activities), natural kinds, synthetic biology, and philosophy of race. Her research in socially engaged philosophy of synthetic biology and synthetic kinds has been supported through the National Science Foundation, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences. She is editor of the recent collection of interdisciplinary essays Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice (2016, Routledge).
Assistant Professor, Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Philosophy
Greg Lusk is a philosopher of science with specific interests in climate science, computer simulation and the role of values in scientific methodology. He received his PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Toronto in 2015, after which he undertook a three-year postdoc at the University of Chicago on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation sponsored “Limits of the Numerical” project. Topics of current projects include: the epistemology of computer simulation and measurement, conceptions of data and data’s role in scientific inference, quantitative reasoning in climate science and policy, and values in science and science’s role within democracy.
Interim Director of the MSU Center for Interdisciplinarity, Professor of Philosophy, and faculty in AgBioResearch and Environmental Science & Policy
Michael O’Rourke’s research interests include epistemology, philosophy of environmental science, communication and epistemic integration in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, and linguistic communication between intelligent agents. He is Director of the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative, a US NSF-sponsored research initiative that investigates philosophical approaches to facilitating interdisciplinary research (http://tdi.msu.edu). He has published extensively on the topics of communication, interdisciplinary theory and practice, and robotic agent design in journals such as The Journal of Philosophy, Synthese, BioScience, Clinical and Translational Science, and The Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology.He has been a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or collaborator on funded projects involving environmental science education, the facilitation of cross-disciplinary communication, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, resilience in environmental systems, and autonomous underwater vehicles.
University Distinguished Professor, Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, and the Department of Philosophy.
Robert T. Pennock studies epistemic and ethical values in science and their connection to scientific methodology and practice. His research involves empirical and philosophical questions that relate to evolutionary biology, cognitive science, and the scientific character. His interdisciplinary philosophy of science work aims to help improve public understanding of science, to foster science ethics, and to advance STEM education nationally. He is a PI of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action and the Scientific Virtues Project. He was an expert witness in the historic Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School Board Intelligent Design creationism case. He develops software and curricula to help students learn about evolution and the nature of science using digital organisms. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and a National Associate of the National Academies of Science. The author of over a hundred articles in philosophy, science, and education, his latest book is An Instinct for Truth: Curiosity and the Moral Structure of Science (The MIT Press 2019).
Assistant Professor of Practice, Lyman Briggs College, Director of the Collaborative Experiential Learning Laboratory
Isaac Record is a teaching professor at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, where he is Director of Experiential Learning and Founding Director of the Collaborative Experiential Learning Laboratory. He teaches courses in philosophy of science, science and technology studies, and critical making. His research seeks to situate our epistemic and ethical circumstances within a landscape of values, capabilities, and material and social technologies. Isaac holds a PhD and MA from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) at the University of Toronto and a BS in Electrical Engineering and BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine.
Assistant Professor fixed-term, Department of Philosophy.
Ted Richards is a philosopher interested in how science operates, and should operate, in society. He is the co-editor, with Kevin Elliott, of Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies in Values in Science (2017, Oxford University Press).
Professor in the Department of Philosophy and W.K. Kellogg Professor of Agircultural, Food and Community Ethics
Paul B. Thompson’s career work has integrated the philosophy of technology with environmental ethics through focusing on the role of agriculture and food systems in cultural and normative practices. He has served on advisory boards to the U.S. egg industry and to government agencies in the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. Thompson is the winner of numerous awards and honors including the Don Ihde Prize from Stony Brook University, the Richard P. Haynes Award for Career Achievement from the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, the William J. Beal Award for distinguished faculty achievement from Michigan State University and the Award for Excellence in Communication (twice) from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone (Oxford) was the North American Society for Social Philosophy 2015 Book of the Year. The Spirit of the Soil: Agriculture and Environmental Ethics (Routledge) was released in a 2nd edition in 2018.
Associate Professor, Lyman Briggs College and Department of Philosophy
Sean Valles’s research spans a range of topics in the philosophy of population health, from the use of evidence in medical genetics to the roles played by race concepts in epidemiology. He is author of the the 2018 book, Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era. He is also Director of the MSU Science and Society @ State Program, supporting interdisciplinary faculty collaborations that join the humanities, arts, and sciences.
Timnick Chair in the Humanities and Professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Community Sustainability.
Kyle Whyte’s research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Kyle is involved in a number of projects and organizations that advance Indigenous research methodologies, including the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation, Tribal Climate Camp, and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. He has served as an author on the U.S. National Climate Assessment and is a former member of the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science and the Michigan Environmental Justice Work Group. He is a recipient of the Bunyan Bryant Award for Academic Excellence from Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.