Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Ari Barell

abarell (at)

Ari Barell is a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Jacques Loeb Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences Ben-Gurion University. He was a Visiting Research Fellow with the Harvard STS Program for the spring 2014 semester. During his stay, he worked on a project entitled Science and State: Techno-Science and the Formation of Israel. This study will examine the relations that evolved between the emerging Israeli political center and the techno-scientific establishments in Israel’s early years. It will explore the role that science and technology have played in the formation and stabilization of the Israeli state, and the role that the state has played in their development.

Ari’s forthcoming book Engineer-King: David Ben-Gurion, Science and Nation Building (2014), explores the views and policies of Israel’s first Prime Minister, Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) towards science and technology and his relations with scientists and experts. The book points out the profound and symbiotic relations that developed between Ben-Gurion and the scientists and experts and between the political system and the scientific establishments during the establishment of Israel.

Ari holds a M.A. degree in History Philosophy and Sociology of Science, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and received his PhD from the Jewish History Department at the Ben-Gurion University.

Selected Publications

Engineer-King: David Ben-Gurion, Science and Nation Building (Ben-Gurion Research Institute Press, Forthcoming 2014).

“Political Theology and Scientific Utopianism: the ‘Million Plan’ and the Construction of Israeli Statism” , with David Ohana, Politics, Religion & Ideology, Forthcoming 2014.

“Leviathan and the Academy: Was there an Attempt to Nationalize the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Early Years of the State of Israel?” Democratic Culture in Israel and in the world, XIII, 2012, 7-79.

“Zionist Epistemology: David Ben-Gurion’s Politics of Numbers”, Iyunim Bitkumat Israel, 22, 2012, 91-121.


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