Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Emma Frow

Emma Frow

Arizona State University


emma.frow (at) asu.edu


Emma Frow is an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, where she holds a joint appointment with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and the School of Biological & Health Systems Engineering. Emma was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology, & Society (STS) at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2011-2012, where she worked on a National Science Foundation project with Sheila Jasanoff and colleagues called “Life in the Gray Zone: Governance of New Biology in Europe and the United States.”

Emma’s research interests center around processes of standardization and valuation across engineering and the life sciences; sustainability in the bio-based economy; and objectivity and representation in scientific practice. Since 2009 she has been conducting ethnographic work relating to the negotiation of engineering principles and standardization practices in the emerging field of synthetic biology. She is currently an investigator on a European Research Council project titled ‘Engineering Life’ with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh; this project studies ideas, practices, promises and policies in the engineering of biology, as well as the role of social scientists in this endeavor.

Emma is a bioscientist by training. She holds a B.A. in Natural Sciences (Neuroscience) and a Ph.D. in biochemistry, both from the University of Cambridge. She worked for the scientific journal Nature before moving to the ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum at the University of Edinburgh in 2006. Emma completed an MSc in Science & Technology Studies at Edinburgh in 2009, and was a Lecturer in the department of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at Edinburgh from 2012–2015.

Selected Publications