Author Archives: Sheila Jasanoff

Perspective: Back from the Brink: Truth and Trust in the Public Sphere

This article is in Climate and Energy, Summer 2017

It is 2017. Do you know where the truth is? Hardly a day passes without some major accusation in the media that the nation’s highest office has become a source of unfounded stories, claims without evidence, even outright lies. As the charges against the executive branch pile up, the White House counters that institutions long […]

CRISPR Democracy: Gene Editing and the Need for Inclusive Deliberation

This article is in Incarceration, Fall 2015

The 1975 Asilomar conference on the risks of recombinant DNA is a poor model for governing newly emerging gene-editing technologies. Not since the early, heady days of recombinant DNA (rDNA) has a technique of molecular biology so gripped the scientific imagination as the CRISPR-Cas9 method of gene editing. Its promises are similar to those of […]

Book Review: Love Canal revisited

This article is in Is Information Technology Creating a Productivity Boom?, Summer 1998

Love Canal revisited A Hazardous Inquiry: The Rashomon Effect at Love Canal, by Allan C. Mazur. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998, 218 pp. Sheila Jasanoff From August 1978 to May 1980, the nondescript industrial city of Niagara Falls, New York, named for one of the world’s great scenic wonders, acquired a perverse new identity […]

Learning from Fukushima

This article is in Making Sense of the Adolescent Brain, Spring 2012

Efforts to explain what went wrong in Japan’s nuclear disaster are doomed to fail if they seek to separate the social from the technological. Recognizing that all aspects of sociotechnical systems are intertwined is essential to developing wiser technology policies. Disasters prompt us to seek lessons. After the tragic trifecta of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear […]

The Dilemma of Environmental Democracy

This article is in The Global Environment, Fall 1996

Scientific rigor and public participation can coexist peacefully only in the catalytic presence of trust and community. We live in a world of manifest promise and still more manifest fear, both inseparably linked to developments in science and technology. Our faith in technological progress is solidly grounded in a century of historical achievements. In just […]


This article is in The Need for Geoengineering Research, Fall 2010

University futures In “Science and the Entrepreneurial University” (Issues, Summer 2010), Richard C. Atkinson and Patricia A. Pelfrey remind us of the extent to which the U.S. economy is increasingly driven by science and technology and the central role the the U.S. research university plays in producing both new knowledge and human capital. Although policymakers […]


This article is in Meeting New Challenges for U.S. Industry, Winter 1998-1999

Drug warriors The Office of National Drug Control Policy is doing, or trying to do, everything Mark Kleiman calls for and more. And it is frankly disappointing that, despite our continued efforts to bring national policy in line with what science and experience have established, many in the research community continue to preach to us […]