Research in Brief

Situated at the nexus of environmental anthropology and studies of science, technology, and policy, my multi-sited research centers on fostering transformations towards sustainability. Subareas include: Science policy for sustainability; climate politics and policy; biodiversity protection and food security, with primary focus on the United States, Brazil, and international policy arenas.

Informed by my training in cultural anthropology and recognition that risk perceptions generate contemporary and future conditions, I think that global environmental change science – and, even, the core of contemporary social science – attends too little to signification. By means of multi-sited research and both qualitative and quantitative methods, I center my investigations on signification and “epistemic governance” – how actors influence policy processes by shaping perceptions of the world and of its current challenges, and the role of unequal power and access to systems of mass communications in societal tendencies to sustain the unsustainable. I have worked mostly in natural science-dominated institutions and enjoy collaboration across differences.

Successful transformations towards sustainability require knowledge and action on species level, not as nations or individuals. To be effective, however, such transformations also require understanding of socio-political realities that differ from place to place. They require not only knowledge of legitimate knowledges in science and politics but also acceptance of such knowledge, and improved understanding of how systems of interests variously obstruct and strengthen processes of becoming knowledge societies, and under what circumstances conducive changes in goals and expectations are best achieved.

My research on epistemic governance and anti-environmentalism in the US and Brazil brings into focus both differences and similarities in their knowledge politics around global environmental changes and development issues, and discusses associated cultural and historical dynamics in light of multi-scalar processes of economic, political and technological change.

More detail:

%d bloggers like this: