Fac/Staff profile


William E. Stirton Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
Dan Moerman
(734) 483-3283
Dept. of Behavioral Sciences, 4012 CASL Building
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128

Biography and Education

I am an anthropologist interested in medicine and healing. I have worked for many years on two different, but related phenomena, native American plant use, particularly medicinal plants, and on the "placebo effect," a form of symbolic healing which I refer to as the "meaning response."

Research Areas

Medicine, medicinal plants, symbolic healing, robots.


Ph.D., University of Michigan: Anthropology

Teaching and Research

Selected Publications

http://naeb.brit.org Online database of 44,000 uses of plants by Native American peoples.

2017 <in press> The Argument For Single Purpose Robots. (Commentary on Lake, et al. Building Machines that Learn and Think Like People. Behavior and Brain Science.

2016 Philosophy of Placebo Analgesia. In J. Corns (Ed.), Rutledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain.

2012: Cathedrals, symphony orchestras, and iPhones: the cultural basis of modern technology. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35(4):231-232

2002: Deconstructing the Placebo Effect and Finding the Meaning Response. Annals of Internal Medicine. 136(6):471-3. Authors: DM, WB Jonas, MD

1998: Native American Ethnobotany. Timber Press: Portland, Oregon

Awards and Recognition

Bobbs Merrill Award, Outstanding Graduate Student in Anthropology UM-Ann Arbor 1966

Distinguished Faculty Research Award, UM-Dearborn 1990

Distinguished Faculty Governance Award, UM-Ann Arbor 1991

Michigan Association of Governing Boards, Distinguished Faculty Member, 1995

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, Annual Literature Award for a Significant contribution to Botany, May, 2000

Jackie Lawson Memorial Faculty Governance Award, UM-Ann Arbor, 2009

Distinguished Economic Botanist, Society for Economic Botany, 2015, Clanwilliam South Africa


Member for
4 years 1 week
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