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Sheila Jasanoff      

Founder & Director of the Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Shelia Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is also affiliated with the Department of the History of Science, member of the Board of Tutors in Environmental Science and Public Policy, and visiting professor at Harvard Law School. Before joining Harvard, she was Professor of Science Policy and Law and founding chair of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University.

At Harvard, Jasanoff founded and directs the Program on Science, Technology and Society. The Program coordinates a series of activities at and beyond Harvard, including the weekly STS Circle colloquium series, the Science and Democracy lectures, and the Science and Democracy Network.

Jasanoff’s longstanding research interests center on the interactions of law, science, and politics in democratic societies. She is particularly concerned with the construction of public reason in various cultural contexts, and with the role of science and technology in globalization. Specific areas of work include science and the courts; environmental regulation and risk management; comparative public policy; social studies of science and technology; and science and technology policy.

She has published more than 120 articles and book chapters and authored or edited numerous books, including Controlling Chemicals: The Politics of Regulation in Europe and the United States, Risk Management and Political Culture , The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers. Her book Science at the Bar: Law, Science and Technology in America received the Don K. Price award of the American Political Science Association, Section on Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics, for the best book on science and politics . Her comparative study of the politics of biotechnology in Britain, Germany and the United States, Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States, was published by Princeton University Press in 2005. An essay collection, Science and Public Reason, appeared in 2012 and her most recent book, The Ethics of Invention, was published by Norton in 2016. Her books have been translated into half a dozen languages, including French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Jasanoff’s edited volumes have helped to establish STS as a distinct field of inquiry while also advancing research frontiers within the field. She was a co-editor of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies . Other influential edited volumes include Learning from Disaster: Risk Management After Bhopal; Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance; States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and Social Order; Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age (2011); and, most recently, Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power.

Jasanoff’s work has been recognized with many awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente, an Ehrenkreuz from the Government of Austria, the Sarton medal in history of science of the University of Ghent, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and membership in the Royal Danish Academy of Arts and Letters.

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