Professor Lessl has taught at the University of Wisconsin, and at the University of Georgia since 1985. 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.