Michael R. Leming is professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and co-director of the college's Spring Semester in Thailand program. He holds degrees from Westmont College (B.A.), Marquette University (M.A.), and the University of Utah (Ph.D.). He has completed additional graduate study at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Leming was the founder and former director of the St. Olaf College Social Research Center, a former member of the board of directors of the Minnesota Coalition of Terminal Care and the Northfield AIDS Response, and has served as a hospice educator, volunteer, and grief counselor. He is the author of numerous articles on social thanatology and family issues and has taught courses on death and dying for over 35 years.
George E. Dickinson is professor of sociology at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. He holds degrees from Baylor University (B.A. in biology and M.A. in sociology) and Louisiana State University (Ph.D. in sociology). He has completed postdoctoral studies in gerontology at Pennsylvania State University, in thanatology at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, and in medical sociology at the University of Connecticut. He was Visiting Research Fellow in palliative medicine at the University of Sheffield's School of Medicine in England in 1999, the International Observatory on End of Life Care in the Institute for Health Research at Lancaster University in England in 2006, and the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science's Department of Animal Behavior and Welfare in England in 2013. He has published over 90 articles in numerous professional journals.