Paul B. Thompson

Paul B. Thompson

Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook
M.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook
B.A., Emory University

Professor & W. K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics

Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Michigan State University

368 Farm Ln., Rm 526
South Kedzie Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

517 432 8345, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Biographical Information

Paul Thompson came to Michigan State in 2003 to assume tenure track positions in the Philosophy Department, with partial appointments in the Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, and Community Sustainability Departments.  He also became the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural Food, and Community Ethics at MSU

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.

Paul Thompson’s research has centered on ethical and philosophical questions associated with agriculture and food, and especially concerning the guidance and development of agricultural technoscience. This research has led him to undertake a series of projects on the application of recombinant DNA techniques to agricultural crops and food animals. His new work focuses on nanotechnology in the agrifood system.

Research and Outreach Interests

  • American pragmatist approaches in practical ethics
  • Environmental ethics
  • Risks and ethics of agricultural and food biotechnology
  • Science policy
  • Philosophy of technology
  • Philosophy of economics

Student Mentoring

Teaching Experience

Research/Outreach Networking Indicators

Recent Research and Policy Presentation Videos

Recent Research and Policy Presentations

Current Funded Research Projects

Selected Publications (View all Thompson’s publications)

Thompson, Paul B. (Ed.). 2008. The Ethics of Intensification: Agricultural Development and Cultural Change. Dordrecht: Springer.

Thompson, Paul B., Callicott, J, Frodeman, R, Davion, Victoria, Norton, Bryan, Palmer, Claire (Eds.). 2008. Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale-Cengage Learning.

David, Kenneth, Thompson, Paul B. (Eds.). 2008. What Can Nanotechnology Learn from Biotechnology? Social and Ethical Lessons for Nanoscience from the Debate over Agrifood Biotechnology and GMOs. Burlington, MA: Academic Press.

Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Agrarian Philosophy and Ecological Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 14 pg. 527-544.

*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Animal Biotechnology: How Not to Presume. The American Journal of Bioethics 8 (6): pg. 49-50.

*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Borgmann on Commodification: A Comment on Real American Ethics. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 pg. 75-84.

*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Current Ethical Issues in Animal Biotechnology. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 20 pg. 67-73.

*Thompson, Paul B., Hannah, W. 2008. Nanotechnology, Risk and the Environment: A Review. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 10 pg. 291-300.

*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. The Agricultural Ethics of Biofuels: A First Look. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 pg. 183-198.

*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken Problem. NanoEthics 2 pg. 305-316.

Thompson, P. B. “The Environmental Ethics Case for Crop Biotechnology: Putting Science Back into Environmental Practice,” in Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice. A. Light and A. de-Shalit, Eds. Cambridge, MA: 2003, The MIT Press, pp. 187-217.

Thompson, P. B. “Value Judgments and Risk Comparisons: The Case of Genetically Engineered Crops,” Plant Physiology 132(2003): 10-16.

Thompson, P. B. 1995. The Spirit of the Soil: Agriculture and Environmental Ethics. New York and London: Routledge Publishing Co.