Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard|
Aishani Aatresh is an undergraduate at Harvard College and a Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society. She is pursuing a degree of her own design, coined Complex Biosocial Systems, which explores how uncertainty is conceptualized and acted upon vis-a-vis changing biological and sociopolitical landscapes.
Aishani Aatresh is an undergraduate at Harvard College and a Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society. She is pursuing a degree of her own design, coined Complex Biosocial Systems, which explores how uncertainty is conceptualized and acted upon vis-a-vis changing biological and sociopolitical landscapes. Her interests revolve around emerging “global” problems of science and technology and how the rights and responsibilities of citizens and institutions are negotiated alongside the very manifestations of these problems, their global-ness, and various proposed solutions to them.
Aishani’s research sits within the STS Program and Harvard’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, broadly focusing on questions of public health in terms of infectious disease preparedness and response. Her thesis asks how bioconstitutional orders and demonstrations of public reason coalesce with respect to what counts as preparedness, for whom, and why. In particular, it aims to compare across case studies of infectious disease modeling, diagnostic testing, viral discovery in wildlife, and international health institutions’ endeavors to prepare for future outbreaks and pandemics. She hopes to understand the contours and ramifications of a shifting social compact around human health for threats that are in various ways framed as “unknown.”
Within the STS Program, Aishani has co-founded and chairs its Undergraduate Fellowship; it is designed to bring together students at the College from across departments and fields to learn about the discipline of STS and think critically about science and technology. She was also the Editor-in-Chief of the Future Humans Anthology, one element of the Program’s 20th Anniversary Symposium in November 2022. The volume features creative pieces submitted from across the university that explore the making of — and hopes and fears for — human futures.
In other work, Aishani has developed computational methods for antibody engineering and assisted with government affairs, market diligence, and clinical trial design for South San Francisco biotech start-ups Distributed Bio and Centivax. She has also worked with the Special Pathogens Program within NYC Health+Hospitals, the United States’ largest municipal healthcare delivery system, and written extensively for synthetic biology organization SynBioBeta.
Aishani is a 2023 Yun Family Research Fellow for Revolutionary Thinking and a Harvard Global Health Institute independent summer fellow. She has previously been awarded by Harvard’s Herchel Smith Undergraduate Science Research Program and Institute of Politics.