MU Life Sciences and Society Program
Detail from title-page of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach's 1781 Über den Bildungstrieb und das Zeugungsgeschäfte [On the Formative Drive and the Reproductive Processes]; University of Chicago Library Special Collections
Life Sciences and Society Program
105h Bond Life Sciences Center
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Phone: (573) 884-6883

LSSP Working Groups

Each LSSP working group is an interdisciplinary faculty network linked by a topic or area of interest. The LSSP working groups are just getting underway in the Fall of 2010 with the help of a Mizzou Advantage networking grant. Each group invites speakers of interest to campus and meets to discuss research in the interest of building informal and formal collaborations.

At the moment, there are 2 working groups affiliated with the LSSP: evolutionary studies and science studies. Please contact the faculty listed below if you are interested in more information about the groups or would like to come to a meeting.

If you are interested in proposing an additional working group topic, please contact Stefani Engelstein at

Evolutionary Studies

The Evolutionary Studies group at the University of Missouri comprises a loosely affiliated group of faculty and students with a common interest in exploring biological evolution, its development, and its impact across traditional academic disciplines including the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Participants share information and ideas, host speakers, teach courses, and conduct research at these interfaces to further our understanding of evolution in the modern world.

Please contact Heidi Appel ( or Andre Ariew ( or visit the Evolutionary studies website at for more details..

Science Studies

In case there should be any doubt about the credentials of Dr. Science, who stars in the widely syndicated public radio sketch series "Ask Dr. Science," each segment concludes by reassuring us that "he has a Master's degree . . . in Science." A general term like "science studies" may seem overly simplistic in our climate of intensive scientific specialization, as the Dr. Science joke implies. But only a broad term like "science studies" can capture adequately the broad range of reflection on the practice of science that has gone hand in hand with scientific specialization-reflection by working scientists, by sociologists, historians, and philosophers of science, and by scholars in other disciplines. An ever-increasing number of US universities are implementing programs in Science Studies, or Science and Technology Studies, to bring together scientists, social scientists, and humanists "to understand how science and technology shape human lives and livelihoods and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology" ( MU does not have a degree program in this area, but we have excellent foundations for a networking group with a Science Studies focus. MU faculty who participated in the initial organization of this group include representatives of six colleges and schools whose research interests range from medieval optics to MRI technology among other cross-disciplinary pursuits. We would like to build this network and include more faculty in our monthly research exchanges, our speaker series, and our other initiatives as we begin to explore the possibilities for new cross-disciplinary collaborations on campus.

Please contact Noah Heringman or visit the Science Studies website for details.