Skip to main content

People at LBC

Sean A. Valles
Sean A. Valles, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department: HPS
Address: E-25B Holmes
Phone: (517) 884-0592
Email: valles@msu.edu

I received my PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University in 2010 after studying classical math, science, and literature at St. John's College-Annapolis.  I have a dual appointment in the MSU Lyman Briggs College (75%) and the Department of Philosophy (25%).  My research is primarily in the history and philosophy of the biomedical sciences, especially medical genetics.  My particular topics of research include: 

*Concepts of heterozygosity for disease-related genes, i.e. what it means to be a genetic disease carrier
*The history of American and British eugenics programs and how they relate to later biomedical science
*Genethics (ethical issues raised by genetics), especially the ethics of genetic testing and genetic engineering
*Adaptationism in biomedicine

My dissertation, Explaining the Evolution of Common Genetic Disease, examined the evidentiary problems facing researchers who attempt to explain why certain genetic diseases, such as Tay Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis, are unexpectedly common.  For more information, please see my website.



Honors
    2010 -Victor E. Thoren Fellowship, Indiana University History and Philosophy of Science Department
    2005 -National Science Foundation AGEP (Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate) Fellowship


Grants
    National Science Foundation, (Sweeder, Valles, Shipman, Largent, Cass), SPRING 3: Scholarship Program for Retaining, Inspiring, and eNabling Graduates [2016 -2021] $649,279
    National Science Foundation, (White, Sawtelle, Valles, Smith, Lahr), Designing, Developing and Assessing a Module-Basted System of Interdisciplinary Education [2016 -2020] $1,181,214
    Michigan State University Science and Society at State Collaborative Grant Award, (White, Sawtelle, Valles, Wang, Fingal), Designing, Developing and Assessing a Module-Based System of Interdisciplinary Education [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
    National Science Foundation , (Valles, O’Rourke, Whyte, Dietz), Collaborative Research: Values and Policy in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science: A Dialogue-based Framework for Ethics Education [2013 -2016] $196,759

Articles
    2012 Valles SA (2012) Heterogeneity of Risk within Racial Groups, a Challenge for Public Health Programs. Preventive Medicine, 55(5), 405-408
    2012 Valles SA (2012). Should Direct to Consumer Personalized Genomic Medicine Remain Unregulated? A Rebuttal of the Defenses. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 55(2), 250-265.
    2012 Valles SA (2012) Lionel Penrose and the Concept of Normal Variation in Human Intelligence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 43(1), 231-289.
    2012 Valles SA (2012) Evolutionary Medicine at Twenty: Rethinking Adaptationism and Disease. Biology and Philosophy, 27(2), 241-261.
    2011 Valles SA(2011)Evolutionary Medicine at Twenty: Rethinking Adaptationism and Disease. Biology and Philosophy. doi:10.1007/s10539L011L9305Lz
    2011 Valles SA (2011) Lionel Penrose and the Concept of Normal Variation in Human Intelligence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2011.10.010
    2010 'The Mystery of the Mystery of Common Genetic Diseases.' Biology and Philosophy 25.2 (2010): 183-201.


 Books

Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era book image
Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era
Population health has recently grown from a series of loosely connected critiques of twentieth-century public health and medicine into a theoretical framework with a corresponding ?eld of research—population health science. Its approach is to promote the public’s health through improving everyday human life: afford-able nutritious food, clean air, safe places where children can play, living wages, etc. It recognizes that addressing contemporary health challenges such as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will take much more than good hospitals and public health departments. Blending philosophy of science/medicine, public health ethics and history, this book offers a framework that explains, analyses and largely endorses the features that de?ne this relatively new ?eld. Presenting a philosophical perspective, Valles helps to clarify what these features are and why they matter, including: searching for health’s "upstream" causes in social life, embracing a professional commitment to studying and ameliorating the staggering health inequities in and between populations; and reforming scienti?c practices to foster humility and respect among the many scientists and non- scientists who must work collaboratively to promote health. Featuring illustrative case studies from around the globe at the end of all main chapters, this radical monograph is written to be accessible to all scholars and advanced students who have an interest in health—from public health students to professional philosophers.
Pages: 224
Publisher: Routledge
Date Published: May 2018
ISBN-13: 9781138059900