Dr. Thomas Lessl (Ph. D. University of Texas at Austin) is a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia. He has written scholarly articles for many journals and books. His research addresses the modern scientific identity, especially in relation to religion. His work has been reported in many media outlets, including The New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His book, Rhetorical Darwinism: Religion, Evolution, and the Scientific Identity (Baylor University Press, 2012) examines how science’s early association with religion has shaped its public identity. His research examines various patterns of communication that have enabled science to build a professional and public identity in the modern period. He is especially concerned with narrative patterns that modern scientific culture has appropriated and adapted from western religion for such purposes.
Dr. Thomas Lessl's book Rhetorical Darwinism: Religion, Evolution, and the Scientific Identity was named the book of the year in 2012 by the Religious Communication Association. The Religious Communication Association named him its scholar of the year in 2014.