Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Helen Pallett

Helen Pallett

h.pallett (at)

Helen Pallett was a visiting research fellow with the Harvard STS Program in Fall 2012. She is a PhD student in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. During her time with the Harvard STS Program Helen developed  her understanding of organisational learning around different mechanisms for public participation in science policy, through a conceptual exploration of the terms ‘collective experimentation’ and ‘societal experimentation’. This will follow the interesting genealogy of these concepts through various approaches to the study of politics and society during the twentieth century, from the work of philosopher John Dewey to the sociologist Donald Campbell. The dual importance of these ideas to the study of public participation and processes of learning is highlighted in more recent works, such as the 2007 European Commission report ‘Taking the European Knowledge Society Seriously’.

Helen graduated with a BA (hons) in Geography from the University of Cambridge in 2010, and then completed an MRes in Environmental Social Sciences at the University of East Anglia in 2011. Her PhD research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK, focuses on public participation around science policy, with a particular interest in the organisations involved in initiating, designing and responding to these instances of public dialogue. She seeks to explore how these organisations can learn from and about public participation and to investigate how reflexive organisational processes can be promoted.

Since beginning her Masters at UEA, Helen has been a part of the Science, Society & Sustainability (3S) research group, which aims to conduct engaged, reflexive and interdisciplinary work looking at the relationships between science, policy and society. As part of this vibrant new research group she has performed a number of roles, including contributing to the group blog ‘the Merton Stone’ and co-editing the 3S Working Paper Series. With fellow 3S member and Harvard STS fellow Martin Mahony, Helen runs a research blog at

Note: The above information concerns a past fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. It does not constituent evidence of current enrollment. The information may be out of date. To update their information, past fellows should e-mail the site administrator.