Dr. Tomlinson retires, celebrates more than three decades at Michigan State University

Tom Tomlinson photoThis month the Center for Ethics is wishing a happy retirement to Dr. Tom Tomlinson. Dr. Tomlinson, Professor in the Center and the Department of Philosophy, served as Center Director for eighteen years, from 2000-2018. Under his guidance the Center’s core faculty members directed their ongoing attention to understanding varied aspects of the human condition including chronic illness, birthing, disability, international research ethics, spirituality, and neuroethics, to name only a few.

Dr. Tomlinson received a BS in psychology from Michigan State University in 1971, followed by an MA in philosophy in 1975, and a PhD in philosophy in 1980. In 1981 he joined the College of Human Medicine as faculty in what was then the Medical Humanities Program, which later became the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences.

Dr. Tomlinson has an extensive and diverse record of publication in bioethics, addressing issues in clinical care, medical and scientific research and health policy. This work has been supported by numerous external grants, including funding from the National Institutes for Health. In addition to his scholarly work, he has also provided consultations to hospitals in Michigan and elsewhere, advising on the care of individual patients and on ethics-related hospital policies and practices. Under Dr. Tomlinson’s leadership, the Center developed clinical ethics services to assist ethics committees at Sparrow Health System, McLaren-Lansing, and elsewhere in Michigan and the region.

In other roles within the university, Dr. Tomlinson served as the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Health and Humanities in the College of Arts and Letters, and as dissertation director for a number of doctoral students in Philosophy.

Tom Tomlinson and Libby Bogdan-Lovis photo
Photo: Dr. Tomlinson (left) and Center Assistant Director Libby Bogdan-Lovis share a laugh at his retirement celebration in May. Photo by Xiaoying Chen.