Michigan State University

Holmes Hall

Room W-25C

919 East Shaw Lane

East Lansing, MI 48825

(517) 884-0592


Sean A. Valles

Assistant Professor

Michigan State University

Lyman Briggs College

Department of Philosophy


Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program

About Me

I have a dual appointment in the MSU Lyman Briggs College (75%) and the Department of Philosophy (25%). 

My research spans a range of topics related to philosophy of population health, from the use of evidence in medical genetics to the roles played by race concepts in epidemiology.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Katikireddi and Valles (2015) Coupled Ethical–Epistemic Analysis of Public Health Research and Practice: Categorizing Variables to Improve Population Health and Equity, American Journal of Public Health, 105 (1), e36-e42 [Open Access]

(2014) Bioethics and the Framing of Climate Change’s Health Risks. Bioethics, [Available Online Ahead of Publication]

(2013) Validity and Utility in Biological Traits. Biological Theory, 8(1), 93-102.

(2012) Heterogeneity of Risk within Racial Groups, a Challenge for Public Health Programs. Preventive Medicine, 55(5), 405-408

(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) Evolutionary Medicine at Twenty: Rethinking Adaptationism and Disease. Biology and Philosophy, 27(2), 241-261.

(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.

(2010) The Mystery of the Mystery of Common Genetic Diseases. Biology and Philosophy, 25(2), 183-201.

Book Reviews

(2013) Women's Health Through an Evolutionary Lens. Evolution, 67(10), 3075-3076.

(2013) Review of Scientific Method in Brief. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 35(3), 478-479.


Co-PI of NSF Award #1338614 ($196,759), Division of Social and Economic Sciences, Ethics Education in Science and Engineering, “Collaborative Research: Values and Policy in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science: A Dialogue-based Framework for Ethics Education.” Project is synchronized with parallel award (#1338626) to U. of Idaho, $103,241. Project is developing, implementing and evaluating ethics education modules that can be incorporated into existing interdisciplinary environmental science graduate courses. I am one of two faculty  members tasked with developing the curriculum.

2010, PhD

Indiana University

  1. Department of History and Philosophy of Science

  2. Advisor: Elisabeth A. Lloyd

2008, MA

Indiana University 

  1. Department of History and Philosophy of Science

2005, BA

St. John’s College-Annapolis

  1. Liberal Arts (“The Great Books Program”)