Director's note

Jane Maienschein

Committed to excellence

A note from Jane Maienschein

Welcome to our Center for Biology and Society website. We invite feedback and suggestions.

We also invite you to join one of the first graduates of ASU’s Biology and Society BS Program, Melanie Kevin (Hunter). She has issued a challenge to fellow alumni to step up and help support the Biology and Society Programs. She points out that it isn’t just how much you give but how many of us actually do give that matters. We all hate fund-raising, but we love the programs that benefit, so if you can afford to, please join in and help the Center support today’s students research opportunities.

Even in these economically challenging times, the Center is a bustling focus of activity and creativity. While others may be bemoaning the sorry state of things, we are having great fun developing new projects and strengthening our commitment to excellence in research and education.


A growing collaboration

  • Our undergrads continue to come up with amazing projects and ideas, and they are engaged in leadership across the university and in the larger world in many inspiring ways. Some are supported by the Biology and Society Unusual Student Project endowment funded by donors.
  • What began as a tiny graduate program with Master’s students Tami Jackson (now a physician at Vanderbilt University), and then Esther Ellsworth (now pursuing a teaching career in Boulder, Colorado) and Matthew Shindell (now a published poet and curator at the National Air and Space Museum who earned his Ph.D. in History of Science at UCSD), now has a roster of outstanding Ph.D., M.S., and M.A. Students pursuing a rich diversity of exciting projects.
  • The faculty continues to grow, with new faculty members who represent diverse research backgrounds including most recently the addition of biology education.  Meanwhile, our core Center faculty members, and others joining as affiliates and adjuncts continue to further ASU's research mission.
  • What is especially impressive in recent years is that our core research projects have matured into funded, exciting collaborative teams of faculty, grad and undergrad students, and partners around the world.

To see all of the exciting things that are taking place, check out our news and events page.

What was once a small undergraduate program that attracted the most wonderful students, along with a very small energetic faculty group, is now a fully developed Center. This gives us a great responsibility to continue to carry out our central mission of promoting research and education related to study of the life sciences and their interconnections with society. We remain committed to a drawing on the perspectives and skills of the liberal arts and sciences, promoting excellence in teaching, research, and engagement with the larger community.

Jane Maienschein

student studying


Every donation helps support CBS students in their excellent research. Together, we can make an impact.



We conduct research in various areas. Take a look at our many different collaborative research projects.

Research initiatives


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News stories