Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Alberto Aparicio

Alberto Aparicio

alberto_aparicio_de_narvaez (at)

Alberto Aparicio is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Program on Science, Technology & Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a PhD student in Science and Technology Studies at University College London. His research explores scientific practice in xenobiology, a subfield of synthetic biology, and how it could be governed. During his time at Harvard he plans to engage with the synthetic biology community in Boston and Cambridge.  He also aims to analyze the construction of the concept of biological containment in synthetic biology as an imaginary of governance. Alberto is interested in governance and policy of the life sciences and emerging technologies, as well as innovation policy in developing countries.

In his doctoral research he aims to better understand scientific practice in xenobiology, questioning its value choices, implicit assumptions, narratives and epistemological judgments, through engagement with synthetic biologists. In particular, he is interested in how the problems and promises of xenobiology are constructed, such as the engineering of organisms with built-in biological containment features. This is expected to provide insights on how emerging technologies can be governed responsibly.

Alberto’s PhD studies in STS are funded by Colciencias, Colombia’s agency for funding science. Previously, he worked at the Colombian government agency for technical and vocational education, SENA (translated as ‘National Learning Service’), as strategic advisor for the directorate of cooperation and international affairs. Before this post, he received an M.Phil. in Technology from the University of Cambridge in 2013, with a scholarship from Colfuturo. Before that, he worked as an innovation consultant at the consultancy firm Inventta (Colombia), supporting technology commercialization and transfer in Colombian universities, and implementation of innovation practices in organizations. Alberto received an M.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan, and a B.Sc in Microbiology from Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia).