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Key Researcher

Joan McGregor

Professor of Philosophy

Joan McGregor has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a professor of Philosophy in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University; she is adjunct professor with Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and senior scholar with the School of Sustainability.  McGregor’s current research interests are focused on moral and legal questions in sustainability and in particular food systems and sustainability. She was co-director of two NEH summer institutes on sustainability on entitled “Fierce Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and the foundations of environmental ethics” and “Rethinking the Land Ethic: Humanities and Sustainability.”

Bioethics and environmental ethics join in research on the moral issues in sustainability. One of the most pressing sustainability questions pertains to modern food systems. Contemporary food systems are complex and multinational, involving workers and consumers from diverse cultures and economies. These systems must be capable of feeding large culturally varied populations without compromising social justice, human health, and the health of the planet.  These questions are multifaceted and require approaches and methods from a variety of disciplines. In order to tackle these challenges, McGregor’s current  project is directing Just Food  a multi-year, transdisciplinary project designed to research moral and cultural questions related to modern food production and consumption, including the consideration of the unintended consequences of the practices and technologies that we develop in our food systems.