Michael Mayerfeld Bell (born June 7, 1957) is an American sociologist and social theorist. He is currently Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is Co-Chair of the Agroecology Program. In addition, Bell has been the Director of UW-Madison's Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) since 2011. Created in 1989, CIAS is a research center for sustainable agriculture programs that respond to the needs of farmers and citizens.
Bell is best known for his work in developing a dialogic approach to sociology and environmental sociology. He is also the author of Childerley: Nature and Morality in a Country Village, which won the 1995 Best Book Award in the Sociology of Culture from the American Sociological Association, and of Farming for Us All: Practical Agriculture and the Cultivation of Sustainability, which won an Outstanding Academic Title award from the American Library Association. Bell is as well the author of An Invitation to Environmental Sociology, a textbook now in its fourth edition.
In the area of agroecology, Bell has worked with William L. Bland, a soil scientist also at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to develop holon agroecology, an approach to agroecology that emphasizes the role of intentionality in agroecological relations.
Bell is also a mandolinist and guitarist and part-composer of grassroots and classical music, and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, the long-time radio variety show on National Public Radio in the United States. He currently performs with Graminy, a Wisconsin-based "class-grass" ensemble.