Paul B. Thompson

Paul B.  Thompson
  • Kellogg Chair in Ethics
  • Established through a gift from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Philosophy


Paul B. Thompson is the Kellogg Chair in Ethics and a professor of philosophy at the College of Arts and Letters. His research has centered on ethnical and philosophical questions associated with agriculture and food, and particularly the guidance and development of agricultural techno-science.

He received a PhD in philosophy from Stony Brook University and has held faculty appointments at Texas A&M University and Purdue University. In 2003, Thompson joined the Departments of Philosophy, and Community Sustainability and Agricultural Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University.

Thompson is the author of over 200 journal articles and book chapters, mostly focused on ethical issues and environmental impacts in global, regional, and local food systems, along with risk analysis and the foundations of sustainability science. He is a two-time winner of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Award for Excellence in Communication and his book From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone was selected in 2015 as the Book of the Year by North American Society for Social Philosophy. 

His most recent work surrounds the application of recombinant DNA techniques to agricultural crops and food animals, with a focus on nanotechnology in the agri-food system.