Michigan State University
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Thomas Reydon

Fall 2018 Visiting Fellow

Thomas Reydon is Professor of Philosophy of Biology in the Institute of Philosophy, and cross-appointed in the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS), at Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. He received his PhD degree from Leiden University, the Netherlands, where he also obtained Master’s degrees in physics and in philosophy of science. He is Editor in Chief of the Journal for General Philosophy of Science as well as the Springer book series History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences, and a founding member and Board Member of the German Society for Philosophy of Science (GWP). His research focuses on the metaphysics of biological classification; the clarification of core concepts in biology with an eye on the use of these concepts in public deliberation; and the epistemology and metaphysics of evolutionary explanations. He also has research interests in ELSI of the life sciences (currently with work on the ontology of chimeric and genetically engineered organisms, and on the integration of philosophy of science into ELSI research); responsibility in academia; and the integration of philosophy of biology and theoretical biology. While a visiting fellow at MSU’s Center for Interdisciplinarity, he will work on a research project that examines a case of interdisciplinarity in science, namely the use of evolutionary theory outside of biology, in particular in the social sciences and engineering disciplines. For further information, see his website at www.reydon.info.

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Zina Ward

Fall 2018 Visiting Fellow

I am a PhD student in the Department of History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh and a member of the graduate training program at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. My dissertation deals with conceptual, methodological, and ethical issues surrounding individual differences in cognitive science. I am also currently developing projects on values in science and scientific pluralism. I look forward to working on all of these projects while visiting the C4I at MSU.

Jesse Engebretson

Spring 2018 Visiting Fellow

Jesse M. Engebretson is primarily interested in how natural resource management is performed at the ground level and how to improve it.  Specifically, Dr. Engebretson’s work explores how complex – and sometimes contradictory policies – are understood and carried out by the “street-level bureaucrats” and front-line workers responsible for their implementation.  Along these lines, he seeks to develop efforts to improve collaboration among natural resource workers who are often trained in different academic disciplines, speak different disciplinary languages, and hold different assumptions about the limits of their – and others’ – perspectives on land management.  Ultimately, Dr Engebretson’s hope is to creatively apply of the insights of philosophy and the humanities to improve inter- and transdisciplinarity in natural resource management contexts while using rigorous social science methods to assess such applications. 

Dr. Engebretson’s current research in the Department of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota focuses largely on policy ambiguity in yardcare ordinances and its potential impact on alternative futures for yards in urban macrosystems in the United States. This work contributes to a larger interdisciplinary and cross-institutional project on the ecological homogenization of urban America. 

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