Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Erik Aarden

Erik Aarden

erik.aarden (at)

Erik Aarden is a postdoctoral assistant at the Department of Science and Technology Studies of the University of Vienna, Austria. He was a visiting fellow at the program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Kennedy School of Government in 2012-2014. His research and teaching interests include the relations between science, technology and democratic politics and questions of distributive justice, public health and the economics, regulation and politics of biomedical research and innovation. In his work, Erik focuses on the comparative positioning of his fields of interest in different geographical, cultural and epistemic spaces.

In his dissertation, he analyzed the incorporation of various genetic diagnostic technologies in public arrangements for health care delivery in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Analyzing the coproduction of diagnostic and distributive classifications, Erik identified distinct logics of just distribution between Western European therapeutic cultures. In subsequent postdoctoral research, he investigated distinct infrastructures for the biomedical study of populations in India, Singapore and the United States. This research focused on the question of how populations and their access to collective resources are framed in the context of making population-based knowledge. His current research interests remain at the intersections of biomedicine and public welfare, interrogating the sociopolitical transformations implied in calls for accelerated translation of biomedical research results to practical applications.

Erik received his doctoral degree from Maastricht University, the Netherlands, in 2010. He was a visiting fellow and EU Marie Curie fellow with the Harvard Program on Science, Technology, and Society in 2007 and from 2012 until 2014, respectively. He has further held positions at Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

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