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People at LBC

Aaron M. McCright
Aaron M. McCright, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department: HPS
Address: E-184 Holmes
Phone: (517) 432-8026
Email: mccright@msu.edu

Department of Sociology Web Page: http://sociology.msu.edu/faculty/profile/mccright-aaron/

Personal Web Page: http://www.aaronmccright.com

 

Dr. McCright holds a joint appointment in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Sociology. He also has an appointment in the Environmental Science and Policy Program.

For LBC, Dr. McCright has taught LB 133 (Introduction to History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science), LB 334 (Science, Technology, and Public Policy), LB 335 (The Natural Environment: Perceptions and Practices), and LB 492 (Senior Seminar) in recent years.

Dr. McCright’s primary teaching goals are threefold. First, he wants to teach young adults to become lifelong learners. Second, he wants to help them improve their understanding of core HPS concepts, theories, and methods. Third, he wants to help them sharpen their critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and problem solving skills. He teaches all of his LBC courses in service to these goals.

All of Dr. McCright’s LBC courses have the following signature characteristics, which most effectively help him accomplish his primary teaching goals. Briefly, his courses:

*   are learner-centered; they focus on improving student learning gains and promoting a reflexivity among students about their learning;

*   utilize active learning; students DO something every day, such as inquiry-based learning;

*   demand that students work through ill-structured problems, ones that are controversial, ambiguous, and opaque in their definitions, causes, and solutions;

*   involve collaborative learning, whereby students work together to help each other learn;

*   employ authentic assessment, whereby students perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills; and

*   use performance-based assessment standards, which are non-zero-sum (i.e., if everyone significantly exceeds the evaluation criteria, then everyone will receive high grades).

Most of Dr. McCright’s scholarship spans the fields of environmental sociology, political sociology, social movements, and sociology of science and technology.  His intellectual agenda is to enhance our sociological understanding of how interrelationships among scientific developments, political processes, and social dynamics influence society’s capacity for recognizing and dealing with environmental degradation and technological risks.

Dr. McCright is most well-known for his work analyzing the political dynamics and public understanding of climate science and policy in the United States—especially organized climate change denial and political polarization on climate change.  Integrating insights from scholarship on power, social movements, and reflexive modernization, he has developed the Anti-Reflexivity Thesis to explain how and why certain industries, political organizations, and members of the general public deny the reality and seriousness of climate change.

Dr. McCright’s recent work also helps to improve our sociological understanding of societal risk and increase the effectiveness of our risk governance for promoting a more sustainable society.  He also investigates the roles of public opinion for social movements, especially how we can use public opinion surveys to investigate how citizens identify with different social movements over their life course.  Further, he conducts research on the effectiveness of inquiry-based learning projects for improving students’ scientific and statistical knowledge, skills, and attitudes.



Honors
    2014 -Recipient of the Larry T. Reynolds Award for Outstanding Teaching of Sociology from the Michigan Sociological Association
    2013 -Recipient of the Midwest Sociological Society’s The Sociological Quarterly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award
    2010 -Recipient of Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award from the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University
    2009 -Recipient of Teacher-Scholar Award at Michigan State University
    2009 -Recipient of Honorary Faculty Certificate from the Lyman Briggs College Graduating Class of 2009 for dedication to the enrichment of the Briggs experience
    2009 -Recipient of Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award from Michigan State University
    2008 -Recipient of Honorary Faculty Certificate from the Lyman Briggs College Graduating Class of 2008 for dedication to the enrichment of the Briggs experience
    2008 -Lilly Teaching Fellow at Michigan State University
    2007 -Kavli Frontiers Fellow in the National Academy of Sciences


Grants
    National Science Foundation, (McCright, Chambers), Doctoral Dissertation Research: African Diaspora Collective Action: Rituals, Runaways and the Haitian Revolution [2016 -2017] $11,999
    Michigan State University Science and Society at State Collaborative Grant Award, (Elliott, Besley, Kaminski, Martin, Murphy, McCright), Promoting Quality and Trust in Industry-Funded Research [2015 -2015] $10,000
    Michigan State University Environmental Science and Policy Program-AgBioResearch Interdisciplinary Team Building Initiative, (PI: Sean Valles. Co-PIs: Kevin C. Elliott, Mark A. Largent, and Aaron M. McCright), Testing Communication Tactics for Overcoming Skepticism [2015 -2016] $6,830
    Michigan State University Science and Society at State Collaborative Grant Award, (PI: Kevin Elliott. Co-PIs: John Besley, Norbert Kaminski, Joe Martin, Aaron M. McCright, and Cheryl Murphy), Promoting Quality and Trust in Industry-Funded Research [2015 -2016] $10,000
    Michigan State University Environmental Science and Policy Program-AgBioResearch Interdisciplinary Team Building Initiative, (PI: Aaron M. McCright. Co-PIs: Thomas Dietz, Julie Libarkin, Robert B. Richardson, and Bruno Takahashi), Advancing MSU Expertise in Environmental Decision-Making [2014 -2016] $9,700
    Michigan State University Discretionary Funding Initiative, (PI: Thomas M. Dietz. Co-PI: Aaron M. McCright), National Environmental and Climate Change Survey Workshop [2011 -2012] $36,578
    National Science Foundation, (PI: Aaron M. McCright. Co-PIs: Thomas M. Dietz. Larry Hembroff, Sandra Marquart-Pyatt, Maria Isabel Ayala, Jiaguo Qi, and Derek Moy), National Environmental and Climate Change Survey [2011 -2011] $49,870
    Michigan State University Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, (Kendra Cheruvelil, Cori Fata-Hartley, Aaron M. McCright, Georgina Montgomery), Discovering Diversity, Creating Inclusion: An Inquiry into Diversity and Science [2010 -2010] $11,000
    Michigan State University Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant Program, (Kendra Cheruvelil, Cori Fata-Hartley, Aaron M. McCright, Georgina Montgomery), Discovering Diversity, Creating Inclusion: An Inquiry into Diversity and Science [2009 -2009] $14,409
    Royal Roads University Office of Research, (PI: Phillip Vannini. Co-PI: Aaron M. McCright), Sensing Weather and Climate Change [2008 -2008] $3,000
    National Science Foundation, (PI: Daniel B. Kramer, Co-PIs: Andrea Allen, Aaron M. McCright, Jiaguo Qi, Gerald R. Urquhart), Globalization and the Connection of Remote Communities: Environmental Implications [2008 -2011] $1,057,123
    Michigan State University Intramural Research Grants Program, (PI: Aaron M. McCright), An Ethnography of Two Biological Field Stations in the Republic of Panamá [2006 -2008] $33,169

Selected Publications
    2014 Clements, John M., Aaron M. McCright, and Chenyang Xiao. 2014. “An Examination of the ‘Greening of Christianity’ Thesis among Americans, 1993-2010.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 53:373-391.
    2014 Clements, John M., Aaron M. McCright, and Chenyang Xiao. 2014. “Green Christians?: An Empirical Examination of Environmental Concern within the U.S. General Public.” Organization and Environment 27:85-102.
    2014 Kojola, Erik, Chenyang Xiao, and Aaron M. McCright. 2014. “Environmental Concern of Labor Union Members in the United States.” The Sociological Quarterly 55:72-91.
    2014 Marquart-Pyatt, Sandra T., Aaron M. McCright, Thomas Dietz, and Riley E. Dunlap. 2014. “Political Orientation Eclipses Climate Extremes for Climate Change Perception.” Global Environmental Change 29:246-257.
    2014 McCright, Aaron M., and Aksel Sundström. 2014. “Examining Gender Differences in Environmental Concern in the Swedish General Public, 1990-2011.” International Journal of Sociology 43(4):63-86.
    2014 McCright, Aaron M., and Chenyang Xiao. 2014. “Gender and Environmental Concern: Insights from Recent Work and for Future Survey Research.” Society and Natural Resources 27:1109-1113.
    2014 McCright, Aaron M., Chenyang Xiao, and Riley E. Dunlap. 2014. “Political Polarization on Support for Government Spending on Environmental Protection in the USA, 1974-2012.” Social Science Research 48:251-260.
    2014 McCright, Aaron M., Riley E. Dunlap, and Chenyang Xiao. 2014. “Increasing Influence of Party Identification on Perceived Scientific Agreement and Support for Government Action on Climate Change in the USA, 2006-2012.” Weather, Climate, and Society 6(2):194-201.
    2014 McCright, Aaron M., Riley E. Dunlap, and Chenyang Xiao. 2014. “Predicting Perceived Winter Warming in the USA.” Nature Climate Change 4:1077-1081.
    2014 Rosa, Eugene A., Ortwin Renn, and Aaron M. McCright. 2014. The Risk Society Revisited: Social Theory and Governance. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
    2014 Sundström, Aksel, and Aaron M. McCright. 2014. “Gender Differences in Environmental Concern among Swedish Citizens and Politicians.” Environmental Politics 23(6):1082-1095.
    2014 Xiao, Chenyang, and Aaron M. McCright. 2014. “A Test of the Biographical Availability Argument for Gender Differences in Environmental Behaviors.” Environment and Behavior 46:241-263.