Faculty

       

KevinElliot-e1369702802826-224x300Kevin Elliott is an Associate Professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at MSU with a secondary appointment in the Department of Philosophy. He is affiliated faculty in the Environmental Science & Policy Program. His research interests are at the interface between the philosophy of science and practical ethics, focusing especially on environmental issues and research ethics. Many of the case studies that he has examined involve contemporary research on environmental pollution, including endocrine disruption, nanotechnology, multiple chemical sensitivity, and hormesis. His book, Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research, was published in 2011 by Oxford University Press. He has published in journals such as Ethics, Policy & Environment; Environmental Ethics; Science, Technology & Human Values; Accountability in Research; Science and Engineering Ethics; Philosophy of Science; Studies in History and Philosophy of Science; History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences; Cell; Human and Experimental Toxicology; and Environmental Science and Technology.


matt-e1345315868558Ma
tt Ferkan(ferkany@msu.edu) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Teacher Education at MSU. He is affiliated faculty in the Environmental Science & Policy Program. His teaching and scholarship focus on political, ethical, and pedagogical problems relating to environmental ethics and education, civic and moral education, and well-being and virtue. Current projects include one funded by the Spencer Foundation linking environmental virtue ethics and participatory democracy to environmental and science education. Past projects theorize the sense of self-worth and the importance of fostering self-esteem relative to other aims of education. He has published in journals such as Environmental ValuesEthics, Policy & EnvironmentPacific Philosophical QuarterlyTheory & Research in Education, Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy.

 

michael1-e1345421123213Michael O’Rourke (orourk51@msu.edu) is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy and AgBioResearch at MSU, and affiliated faculty in the Environmental Science & Policy Program. His research interests include the nature of epistemic integration and communication in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research and the nature of linguistic communication between intelligent agents. He co-taught the Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Production IGERT seminar at the University of Idaho in spring 2005 and is PI on the NSF-funded project, “Improving Communication in Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration”, which extends research into philosophical approaches to facilitating interdisciplinary research. He has also published on the topic of communication, both within philosophy and within the field of robotic agent design. Since 1998, he has served as co-director of the Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, an interdisciplinary conference on philosophical themes held annually on the campuses of UI and WSU, and since 2000, as co-editor of the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series published by the MIT Press. He has published in journals such as Synthese, Bioscience and Journal of Philosophy.

 

thompson-e1344349434194Paul B. Thompson (thomp649@msu.edu) holds the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics. Previously he held positions as Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center for Food Animal Productivity and Well-Being, at Purdue University, and prior to that positions as Professor of Philosophy and Agricultural Economics and Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy and Ethics, at Texas A&M University. He is the author of 13 books and editions, such as The Spirit of the Soil: Agriculture and Environmental Ethics; The Ethics of Aid and Trade; Food Biotechnology in Ethical Perspective, and co-editor of The Agrarian Roots of Pragmatism. He has served on many national and international committees on agricultural biotechnology and contributed to the National Research Council report The Environmental Effects of Transgenic Plants. He has served as President of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society and the Society for Philosophy and Technology, and as Secretary of the International Society for Environmental Ethics. He has continuing interests in environmental and agricultural ethics, publishing recently in journals such as Science CommunicationJournal of Agricultural & Environmental EthicsMetaphilosophyPoesis & Praxis, and Science & Engineering Ethics.


Sean Valles
(valles@msu.edu) is an Assistant Professor, joint appointed in the Lyman Briggs College (75%) and Department of Philosophy (25%). His research specialty is in philosophy of population health. His work overlaps with environmental in three particular areas. First, he has begun publishing on the topic of the bioethics of climate change’s health impacts. Second, he is collaborating with Michael O’Rourke, Kyle Whyte and Zach Piso on an NSF ethics education grant, developing an ethics curriculum for interdisciplinary environmental science graduate students. Third, he is working on a history project about population control advocacy and its relationship to conservationism. Dr. Valles’ articles have appeared in journals such as Preventive MedicinePhilosophy & BiologyStudies in History & Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, and Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 


gretel-e1344349401473Gretel Van Wieren
(vanwie12@msu.edu) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at MSU with a secondary appointment in the Department of Philosophy. Broadly, her research focuses on the religious and ethical dimensions of the intersection of humans and nature. She is interested in exploring both the ways in which the world’s religions understand nature and humanity’s place and role in relation to it, as well as the ways in which environmental thought and experience itself implicitly and explicitly points to the religious and spiritual dimensions of human life. Additionally, she is interested in the interface of science, religion, and ethics. Her dissertation proposes a new restorative environmental ethic by critically examining the theory and practice of ecological restoration from scientific, religious and ethical perspectives. To date, her research has been published in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology and the Encyclopedia of Sustainability. Her book, Restored to Earth: Christianity, Environmental Ethics, and Ecological Restoration, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2013.


Kyle-Whyte-2013-Cropped-213x300Kyle Powys W
hyte 
(kwhyte@msu.edu) holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at MSU and is affiliated faculty in Environmental Science & Policy, the Center for Regional Food Systems, Animal Studies and American Indian Studies. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee, Oklahoma. His primary research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples and the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations. His articles have appeared in journals such as Climatic Change, Ecological ProcessesSyntheseHuman Ecology, Journal of Global Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics, Philosophy & TechnologyEthics, Place & EnvironmentEnvironmental Justice, and Continental Philosophy Review. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences & Assessments Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Spencer Foundation. He is involved in the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Everybody Eats: Cultivating Food Democracy, and Networking the Global Humanities: Humanities and the Environment (Mellon).