Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Nicole West Bassoff

Nicole West Bassoff

nbassoff (at)

Nicole West Bassoff is a PhD candidate in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, where she is also a Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology, and Society. She uses the disciplinary approach of Science and Technology Studies (STS) to examine the ethics and politics of technology-driven urban development projects in the U.S. Through a comparative study of controversies surrounding “smart city” projects, her dissertation interrogates the social compact between cities and citizens in the digital age. She explores how the rights and duties of citizens are reformulated when cities are transformed through private investment and technological innovation.

Nicole is interested broadly in the ethics of emerging technologies and has taught for courses ranging from “Philosophy of Technology” to “Bioethics, Law, and the Life Sciences.” She is a co-founder and organizer of the annual Graduate Research in STS (GRiSTS) conference at Harvard. Prior to the PhD, she worked for the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative at the Berkman Klein Center. Nicole holds an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine from the University of Cambridge and a BA in History and Science from Harvard University.