Robyn Bluhm

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.


Megan Dean

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy

Megan Dean is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Michigan State University. She works in feminist bioethics and science and values, with interests in 20th-century European philosophy. Her research focuses on the field of food ethics. While most food ethics concentrates on food production and consumption, Megan’s work highlights the ethical importance of the activity of eating itself. Her current research includes exploration of conceptions of good eating and good eaters embedded in diet research, clinical practice, and diet advice. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Georgetown University, and has an MA from the University of Alberta.


Heather Douglas

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.  


Kevin Elliott

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.


Megan K. Halpern

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.

Catherine Kendig

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).


Greg Lusk

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.


Michael O’Rourke

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 ( He has published extensively on the topics of communication, interdisciplinary theory and practice, and robotic agent design in journals such as The Journal of PhilosophySyntheseBioScienceClinical 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.


Robert T. Pennock

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).



Michelle T. Pham

Assistant Professor, Center for Bioethics and Social Justice, Department of Medicine

Michelle T. Pham conducts research in the interdisciplinary field of Neuroethics and connected issues in the Philosophy of Science. Some recent topics include promoting post-trial care for patient-participants in experimental brain implant studies and decision-making in the context of pediatric deep brain stimulation. Pham also researches ways to promote engagement with patient-participants who contribute to neuroscience and neurotechnology research; and she has raised the concern that patient-participants in these brain implant studies may be exploited.


Isaac Record

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.


Ted Richards

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).


Paul Thompson

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.


Sean Valles

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.




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