Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Les Beldo

Les Beldo

les_beldo (at)

Les Beldo was a visiting scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a visiting fellow at the STS Program for Spring 2016. His current research examines the implicit norms and values that are built into federal policies for fish and wildlife management in the United States, including the ways in which those assumptions are challenged and reproduced in contemporary environmental conflicts. He is currently working on a book project based on his dissertation, which tracked the substantial consequences of federal fisheries management oversight on the continued conflict over Makah indigenous whaling in the Pacific Northwest. 

His dissertation, Logics of Sacrifice: An Ethnogaphy of the Makah Whaling Conflict, is an ethnographic investigation of the longstanding conflict over Makah whaling. The Makah are a small Native American tribe in Washington state that sparked controversy when they sought to revive their centuries-old whaling practices in the late 1990s after a hiatus of over seventy years. Logics of Sacrifice is organized around a key ethnographic finding: in order to participate in policy debates, whalers and anti-whaling activists alike must learn to speak in a technical register that tacitly affirms the normative assumptions of the federal fisheries management system.

Les received a Ph.D. in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago in 2014. His work has been supported by an Andrew W. Mellon dissertation-year fellowship from the University of Chicago as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago and a post-doctoral fellowship at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He previously served as a post-doctoral lecturer at the University of Chicago in 2014-2015.

His previous research on the anthropology of morality has been published in the journal Anthropological Theory. He co-authored, with Richard Shweder, an entry on the concept of culture for the Second Edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. His work has also been published at the Center for Humans and Nature.

Note: The above information concerns a past fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. It does not constituent evidence of current enrollment. The information may be out of date. To update their information, past fellows should e-mail the site administrator.