Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

New Nuclear Imaginaries



Michael Dennis 

Michael A. Dennis is an assistant professor in the Strategy & Policy Department at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. After receiving his PhD in the history of science and technology from Johns Hopkins he taught in Cornell University’s Department of Science and Technology Studies.  He subsequently served as an adjunct lecturer in Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program as well as other institutions in the Washington, DC area.  He writes on the production of technical knowledge in the Cold War American State and is still writing his long overdue book, A change of state:  technical practice, political culture and the making of Cold War America.


Rod Ewing

Rod Ewing is the Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security at the Center for International Security & Cooperation in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at Stanford University. His research focuses on the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle, mainly nuclear materials and the geochemistry of radionuclides with application to permanent geologic disposal.  He has written extensively on issues related to nuclear waste management and is a co-editor of Radioactive Waste Forms for the Future (1988) and Uncertainty Underground – Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste (2006).  He received the Lomonosov Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2006. He was appointed by President Obama to chair the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board from 2012 to 2017. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

R. Scott Kemp

R. Scott Kemp is the Norman C. Rasmussen Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, and director of the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy. His research combines physics, information science, politics, and history to help define policy options for achieving international security under technical constraints. He works primarily on verification of nuclear-warhead dismantlement, the detection of clandestine nuclear programs, and on emerging technologies that complicate international security. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in Public and International Affairs, and a bachelor’s in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Egle Rindzeviciute

Dr Egle Rindzevičiute holds a PhD in Culture Studies from Linköping University, Sweden, and is a Lecturer in Sociology at Kingston University in London. Dr Rindzevičiute joined Kingston University from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in 2015 and in 2016-2019 she is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Public Administration, Gothenburg University, Sweden. Dr Rindzevičiute is the author of The Power of Systems: How Policy Sciences Opened Up the Cold War World (Cornell University Press, 2016) and the editor of The Struggle for the Long Term in Transnational Science and Politics: Forging the Future (Routledge, 2015) (with Dr Jenny Andersson). Her current research project focuses on the construction of nuclearity as a national cultural heritage in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

Sonja Schmid

Sonja Schmid is an associate professor in the Department of Science and Technology in Society (STS) at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include social and historical studies of science and technology, technology transfer and international cooperation, nuclear history and energy policy, nonproliferation, and emergency preparedness and response. For her first book, Producing Power: The Pre-Chernobyl History of the Soviet Nuclear Industry (MIT 2015), she studied the organization of the emerging Soviet nuclear industry. She serves as the co-director of Virginia Tech’s STS Graduate Program in Northern Virginia, and is part of Virginia Tech’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Laboratory (NSEL) in Arlington, VA. She earned her Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell, and her M.A. from the University of Vienna, Austria.

Rebecca Slayton

Rebecca Slayton is Assistant Professor, jointly in the Science and Technology Studies Department and the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, both at Cornell. Her research examines the relationships between and among risk, governance, and expertise, with a focus on international security and cooperation since World War II. Her first book, Arguments that Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense, 1949-2012 (MIT Press, 2013), shows how the rise of a new field of expertise in computing reshaped public policies and perceptions about the risks of missile defense, and won the 2015 Computer History Museum Prize. Slayton is currently working on a second book,Shadowing Cybersecurity, which examines the emergence of cybersecurity expertise through the interplay of innovation and repair.


Alex Wellerstein

Alex Wellerstein is an Assistant Professor in the Program on Science and Technology Studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He received a PhD from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University in 2010, and a BA in History from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002. He is currently working to complete his book on the history of nuclear secrecy in the United States, from the Manhattan Project through the War on Terror, under contract with the University of Chicago Press. He is the author of Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog, the creator of the online NUKEMAP nuclear weapons effects simulator, and is an occasional contributor to The New Yorker’s Elements Blog.