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Kevin Elliott, Ph.D.

Kevin  Elliott
  • Professor
  • Faculty Excellence Advocate
  • History, Philosophy & Sociology of Science
  • Department of Fisheries & Wildlife
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Holmes Hall, E-25A
  • 919 E. Shaw Lane
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • (517) 432-7374


  • LB133: Intro to HPS
  • LB325A: Science and the Environment (Arts/Humanities)
  • LB492: Senior Seminar
  • FW439: Conservation Ethics


Kevin Elliott’s scholarship focuses on responsibly addressing the roles that ethical and social values play in scientific research, especially in policy-relevant areas of environmental research. He has explored the influences of financial conflicts of interest in research, ethical issues that arise in science communication, and collaborative authorship practices in science teams. Trained in the history and philosophy of science, he engages actively in interdisciplinary work by collaborating with environmental scientists and working with scientific and policy organizations like the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research (2011) and A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science (2017). His courses tend to focus on environmental philosophy and on the many roles that ethical and social values play in scientific research.

In May 2021, Elliott became Faculty Excellence Advocate for Lyman Briggs College.


  • Ph.D., Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame
  • M.A., Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame
  • B.S., Chemistry and Philosophy, Wheaton College, IL


  • Invited member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions, September 2016 – present.
  • Excellence Award in Interdisciplinary Scholarship in 2015 from the Michigan State University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi (along with Kendra Spence Cheruvelil, Georgina Montgomery, Isis Settles, Pat Soranno, and Pan-Ning Tan), received in 2015 for our scholarship to examine changing ethical and methodological practices in the environmental sciences.
  • Invited member, U.S. National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council (the advisory board for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences), September 2014 – Feb 2018


External Grants

  • Kevin Elliott (lead), Kendra Cheruvelil, Georgina Montgomery, Isis Settles, Patricia Soranno. “Ethical Standards and Practices of Environmental Scientists: Does Team Diversity Matter?” NSF Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM Program, SES-1449466. $600,000. 2014-2019.
    • Successfully applied for an $8,632 supplement in 2017 to provide additional graduate student training
  • David Berube (lead), Kevin Elliott, Pat Gehrke, Jennifer Kuzma, Dietram Scheufele. “NIRT: Intuitive Toxicology and Public Engagement” NSF Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Program, SES-0709056. $1,399,258. 2007-2012. 

Internal Grants

  • Mark Largent (lead), Kevin Elliott, Aaron McCright, Mark Navin, Sean Valles. “Michiganders’ Views of Vaccines.” MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. $20,000. 2016-2017 
  • Sean Valles (lead), Kevin Elliott, Mark Largent, Aaron McCright. “Testing Communication Tactics for Overcoming Skepticism.” MSU ITBI program. $6,830. 2015-2017.
  • Kevin Elliott (lead), John Besley, Norbert Kaminsky, Joseph Martin, Aaron McCright, Cheryl Murphy. “Promoting Quality and Trust in Industry-Funded Research.” MSU S3 program. $10,000, supplemented with $3,000 from LBC’s pilot data fund. 2014-2016. 
  • Patricia Soranno (lead), Kendra Cheruvelil, Kevin Elliott, Georgina Montgomery, Pang-Ning Tan. “Conceptions of Good Science in a Data-Rich World.” MSU S3 program. $10,000. 2014-2016.


  • Kevin C. Elliott and David B. Resnik, “Making Open Science Work for Science and Society,” Environmental Health Perspectives (2019): forthcoming.
  • Isis H. Settles, Sheila T. Brassel, Patricia A. Soranno, Kendra S. Cheruvelil, Georgina M. Montgomery, and Kevin C. Elliott, “Team Climate Mediates the Effect of Diversity on Science Team Satisfaction and Data Sharing,” PLoS ONE (2019): DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219196
  • Elliott, K.C. and Rosenberg, J., 2019. Philosophical Foundations for Citizen Science. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), p.9. DOI:http://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.155.
  • John Besley, Nagwan Zahry, Aaron McCright, Kevin C. Elliott, Joseph Martin, and Norbert Kaminski, “Conflict of Interest Mitigation Procedures May Have Little Influence on the Perceived Procedural Fairness of Risk-Related Research,” Risk Analysis 39 (2019): 571-585.
  • Bennett Holman and Kevin C. Elliott, “The Promise and Perils of Industry-Funded Science,” Philosophy Compass 13 (2018): e12544. Kevin C. Elliott, Aaron M. McCright, Summer Allen, and Thomas Dietz, “Values in Environmental Research: Citizens’ Views of Scientists Who Acknowledge Values,” PLoS ONE 12(10) (2017): e0186049. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186049
  • Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards, eds. Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Kevin C. Elliott, A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Kevin C. Elliott and Daniel J. McKaughan, “Non-Epistemic Values and the Multiple Goals of Science,” Philosophy of Science 81 (2014): 1-21.
  • Kevin C. Elliott and David B. Resnik, “Science, Policy, and the Transparency of Values,” Environmental Health Perspectives 122 (2014): 647-650. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408107
  • Kevin Elliott, Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.