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June 27, 2019

Lyman Briggs professor named University Distinguished Professor

Robert Pennock, a professor in Michigan State University’s Lyman Briggs College, has been named a University Distinguished Professor, one of the highest distinctions a faculty member can achieve.

The MSU Board of Trustees approved the designation earlier this month.

Pennock is a professor of history, philosophy and sociology of science and has been a faculty member of Lyman Briggs since 2000. He also holds appointments in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Computer Science & Engineerin and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program.

His research involves empirical and philosophical questions that relate to evolutionary biology, cognitive science and the scientific character. His interdisciplinary work aims to help improve public understanding of science, to foster science ethics and to advance STEM education nationally. 

Pennock has published a vast array of scholarly articles and books including: An Instinct for Truth: Curiosity and the Moral Character of Science and Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism.

He is a principal investigator of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, an NSF-funded research center at MSU, and a principal investigator of the Scientific Virtues Project.

Pennock is involved in the development of the Avida-ED software program at MSU that helps students learn about evolution and the nature of science using digital organisms. 

He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a National Associate of the National Academics of Science.