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Founded in 2003 by University Professor Jane Maienschein in the School of Life Sciences, the ASU Center for Biology and Society supports collaborative research, undergraduate and graduate programs, and education projects that provide exhilarating opportunities for students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars.
The center explores areas of intersection between the life sciences and society in a variety of ways. Bioethics, policy, and law provide a set of lenses through which to examine the responsible conduct of science. History and philosophy of science ask questions about how we know what we think we know, and how that has changed over time, including changing conceptions of what counts as “good medicine” or the role of a “good doctor.” Environmental researchers ask about epidemiology, infectious diseases, and the role of emerging technologies in challenging our assumptions about how we should best interact with the larger world.
A number of the center’s core research projects promote understanding of health in a larger social and historical context. The Embryo Project offers the open access Embryo Project Encyclopedia and Reproductive Health Arizona projects. Neuroscience and philosophy work at the intersection of science and life science ethics; a collaboration with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, includes historical and philosophical study of the biomedical sciences.