Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Laura Frye-Levine

Laura Frye-Levine

laura_frye-levine (at) hks.harvard.edu

Laura Frye-Levine is a dual PhD candidate in Sociology and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Visiting Research Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology and Society. She has training in earth science, environmental science and policy, sociology, and STS. Laura’s research examines interdisciplinary approaches to environmental sustainability and the quest for value plurality in environmental policy. Her doctoral research is an ethnography of collaboration and knowledge production in an emerging human-environment interdiscipline. 

In the increasingly complex landscape of environmental problems, how do ideals of multidisciplinary inclusion between social and natural sciences play out across transdisciplinary knowledge turfs? Debates about the definition of environmental value – from the provision of goods and services to the survival of species, diversity of ecosystems, or equity in society – reveal a complex politics around relationships of embeddedness between society and nature. Laura’s work is an investigation into an ecological theory of value that would articulate this embeddedness by linking social and ecological science. Her research is also an ethnography of an associated knowledge community that seeks to leverage a paradox – the institutionalization of non-commensurability as a boundary-spanning economic science.

Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geoscience from Smith College and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from Yale. Prior to beginning her PhD, she was the director of research at the Center for Sustainable Cities at the University of Kentucky.