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Kevin  Elliot - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Kevin Elliot Kevin  Elliot

Associate Professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Philosophy | Michigan State University


Expert on ethical and social values in environmental research



Kevin  Elliot Publication






Kevin Elliott received his Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame. He is currently an associate professor in MSU’s Lyman Briggs College, with joint appointments in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Philosophy. His research lies at the intersection of the philosophy of science and practical ethics.

Industry Expertise (5)

Writing and Editing Education/Learning Environmental Services Research Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise (3)

Ethical Behaviours and Practices Environmental Ethics Environmental Research

Accomplishments (1)

Excellence Award in Interdisciplinary Scholarship from the MSU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi (professional)


The MSU Chapter administers the Excellence Award in Interdisciplinary Scholarship (EAIS). This award recognizes excellence of a team effort, not performance of one individual, in teaching, research, service, or a combination of these activities. Nominations are sought annually from the Provost, the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, members of the Council of Deans, and chapter members.

Education (3)

University of Notre Dame: PhD, Program in History and Philosophy of Science 2004

University of Notre Dame: MA, Program in History and Philosophy of Science 2002

Wheaton College: BS, Chemistry and Philosophy 1997

Affiliations (2)

  • University of South Carolina
  • Louisiana State University

News (1)

Can Open and Honest Scientists Win Public Trust?

MSU Today  online


“It would seem like being more forthcoming would be a very responsible thing for scientists to do,” said Kevin Elliott, lead author of the study, who specializes in the ethics of science at MSU..."

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Journal Articles (1)

Values in environmental research: Citizens’ views of scientists who acknowledge values PLoS ONE

Kevin C Elliott, Aaron M. McCright, Summer Allen, Thomas Dietz


Scientists who perform environmental research on policy-relevant topics face challenges when communicating about how values may have influenced their research. This study examines how citizens view scientists who publicly acknowledge values. Specifically, we investigate whether it matters: if citizens share or oppose a scientist’s values, if a scientist’s conclusions seem contrary to or consistent with the scientist’s values, and if a scientist is assessing the state of the science or making a policy recommendation. We conducted two 3x2 factorial design online experiments. Experiment 1 featured a hypothetical scientist assessing the state of the science on the public-health effects of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), and Experiment 2 featured a scientist making a policy recommendation on use of BPA. We manipulated whether or not the scientist expressed values and whether the scientist’s conclusion appeared contrary to or consistent with the scientist’s values, and we accounted for whether or not subjects’ values aligned with the scientist’s values. We analyzed our data with ordinary least squares (OLS) regression techniques. Our results provide at least preliminary evidence that acknowledging values may reduce the perceived credibility of scientists within the general public, but this effect differs depending on whether scientists and citizens share values, whether scientists draw conclusions that run contrary to their values, and whether scientists make policy recommendations.

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