Skip to main content

People at LBC

Richard Bellon
Richard Bellon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department: HPS
Address: W-30 Holmes
Phone: (517) 353-1739
Email: bellonr@msu.edu

Richard Bellon is a historian of science who holds a joint appointment with Lyman Briggs College and the Department of History. 

 

His current research examines the conceptions of virtue in Victorian Britain.  He has published extensively on British natural history, with a particular focus on the importance of botany in the development and reception of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.  

 

He teaches a wide range of classes, with topics including the Darwinian Revolution, the history of molecular biology, contemporary American biomedical and biotechnology policy, Victorian Britain, and the historical relationships between science and religion.  He runs a study-abroad program to London on the history of British science. The most recent version took place in the summer of 2013. The program is scheduled to return to England in 2016.

 

Grants:

Virtues of Biological Research:Moral Behavior at the Intersection of Science and Religion, 1830-2014. (PI). Use and Abuse of Biology Grants Programme, the Faraday Institute, St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge. 2013-4.

 

Patience and Panoramas: the Moral Status of Inductive Science in Victorian Britain. (PI).  Michigan State University HARP development grant. Award: $22,161. 2012-3.

 

BRAID 2.0: Bringing Relationships Alive through Interdisciplinary Discourse. (co-PI; PI: Ryan Sweeder; co-PIs Doug Luckie and Elizabeth Simmons).  National Science Foundation. 2010-4.

 

Professional Organizations:

Linnean Society of London, elected Fellow, 2001-

History of Science Society, 1994-

 

 



Honors
    2012 -Award for Outstanding Service to MSU Study Abroad. 2012 International Awards Ceremony, Michigan State University.
    2012 -Recipient of Honorary Faculty Certificate from the Lyman Briggs College Graduating Class of 2012 for dedication to the enrichment of the Briggs experience
    2001 -Fellow, Linnean Society of London


Grants
    University of Cambridge, (Bellon), The Virtues of Evolutionary Research: Moral Behavior at the Intersection of Science and Religion [2013 -2013] $56,820
    MSU-HARP-Development Research Grant, (Bellon), Patience and Panoramas: the Moral Status of Inductive Science in Victorian Britain [2012 -2014] $22,161
    NSF-CCLI (Phase II), (Seeder, Luckie, Bellon, Simmons), BRAID 2.0: Bringing Relationships Alive through Interdisciplinary Discourse [2011 -2015] $249,959

Articles
    2012 “The Moral Dignity of Inductive Method and the Reconciliation of Science and Faith in Adam Sedgwick’s Discourse.” Science & Education 20 (2012): forthcoming (currently available on the journal’s website as a preprint).
    2012 “The ‘BRAID’: Experiments in Stitching Together Disciplines at a Big Ten University” (co-authors Doug Luckie and Ryan Sweeder). Journal of STEM Education 13 (2012): 6-14.
    2012 “The Moral Dignity of Inductive Method and the Reconciliation of Science and Faith in Adam Sedgwick’s Discourse.” Science & Education 21 (2012): 937-58.
    2011 “Inspiration in the Harness of Daily Labor: Darwin, Botany and the Triumph of Evolution, 1859-1868.” Isis 102 (2011): 392-420
    2009 'Charles Darwin Solves the 'Riddle of the Flower': or, Why Don't Historians of Biology Know about the Birds and Bees?' History of Science 47 (2009): 373-406.
    2007 'Science at the Crystal Focus of the World.' In Science in the Marketplace, ed. Bernard Lightman and Aileen Fyfe, pp. 301-35. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
    2006 'Joseph Hooker Takes a 'Fixed Post': Transmutation and the 'Present Unsatisfactory State of Systematic Botany,' 1844-60.' Journal of the History of Biology 39 (2006): 1-39.
    2005 'A Question of Merit: John Hutton Balfour, Joseph Hooker and the 'Concussion' over the Edinburgh Chair of Botany.' Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2005): 25-54.


 Books

A Sincere and Teachable Heart: Self-Denying Virtue in British Intellectual Life, 1736-1859 book image
A Sincere and Teachable Heart: Self-Denying Virtue in British Intellectual Life, 1736-1859
In A Sincere and Teachable Heart: Self-Denying Virtue in British Intellectual Life, 1736-1859, Richard Bellon demonstrates that respectability and authority in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain were not grounded foremost in ideas or specialist skills but in the self-denying virtues of patience and humility. Three case studies clarify this relationship between intellectual standards and practical moral duty. The first shows that the Victorians adapted a universal conception of sainthood to the responsibilities specific to class, gender, social rank, and vocation. The second illustrates how these ideals of self-discipline achieved their form and cultural vigor by analyzing the eighteenth-century moral philosophy of Joseph Butler, John Wesley, Samuel Johnson, and William Paley. The final reinterprets conflict between the liberal Anglican Noetics and the conservative Oxford Movement as a clash over the means of developing habits of self-denial.
Pages: 277
Publisher: Brill
Date Published: November 2014
ISBN-13: 978-9004263369