Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University


Sheila Jasanoff

Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies
Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
Tel: 617-495-7902
Fax: 617-496-5960
Links: Website | CV

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 authored more than 130 articles and chapters and is author or editor of more than 15 books, including The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers (1990), Science at the Bar: Law, Science and Technology in America (1995), Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States (2005), an essay collection Science and Public Reason (2012), The Ethics of Invention (2016),  Can Science Make Sense of Life? (2019), and her most recent book, Uncertainty (Boston Review/Forum, 2022). Her book Science at the Bar 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 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 (1995). Other influential edited volumes include Learning from Disaster: Risk Management After Bhopal (1994); Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance (with Marybeth Martello, 2004); States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and Social Order (2004); Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age (2011); and, most recently, Dreamscapes of Modernity: Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power (2015).

Jasanoff’s work has been recognized with many awards and honors.  Most recently she was selected as the 2022 recipient of the Holberg Prize – dubbed the Nobel prize for social science and humanities- for her prolific and pioneering efforts in the field of science and technology studies. She also received 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. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society, foreign member of the British Academy and of the Royal Danish Academy, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

For a more complete biography of Professor Jasanoff, as well as a complete list of her publications and courses taught, see her personal webpage.