People

Core Faculty

Joseph Auner, Professor
Music

Joe Auner researches the interfaces of music and technology in the emerging interdisciplinary area called Sound Studies. Recent publications include "Wanted Dead and Alive: Historical Performance Practice and Electro-Acoustic Music from Abbey Road to IRCAM" and "Losing your Voice: Sampled Speech and Song from the Uncanny to the Unremarkable." Themes in his work have included sampling and looping, and recently he is thinking about feedback.
Alex Blanchette, Assistant Professor
Anthropology

Alex Blanchette researches the cultural politics of industrialization in the post-industrial United States. His current book project is tentatively titled Porkopolis: Standardized Life, American Animality, and the "Factory" Farm. His work considers intersections of capitalism, nature, and animal life. His future research program includes a study of manual labor through an ethnography of craft leather tanneries.

Other Affiliations: Environmental Studies; Food Cluster
Tatiana Chudakova, Assistant Professor
Anthropology

Tatiana Chudakova's research focuses on postsocialist economies of health, the commodification of ethnic identities, and the afterlives of Soviet scientific and state-building projects. Her current book project, provisionally titled Mixing Medicines: the Politics of Health in Postsocialist Siberia, focuses on the institutionalization of indigenous medicine in Buryatia, a traditionally Buddhist region on the border of Russia and Mongolia. Future projects include work on herbal medicine in the Russian Far East and on mining in Mongolia.
Moon Duchin, Associate Professor
Mathematics

Moon Duchin's mathematical research is in geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. She also has broad interests in the history, philosophy, and cultural studies of math and science, such as the role of intuition and the nature and impact of ideas about genius. One current project is on a social history of mathematics, titled Inventing Five-Eighths: How Math Is and How It Could Have Been Otherwise.

Other Affiliations: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Sam Weiss Evans, Research Assistant Professor
STS

Sam Weiss Evans studies the way that various groups determine what counts as research and technology of security concern, and how that process of constructing things of security concern is also about constructing the governance system around them. Theoretically, he analyzes the idea of "dual-use" research and technologies by expanding concepts of boundary objects, classification systems, sociotechnical imaginaries, and responsible innovation. Empricially, he focuses on synthetic biology and cybersecurity.
Patrick Forber, Associate Professor
Philosophy

Patrick Forber studies confirmation, explanation, and idealization in science, especially in evolutionary biology and ecology. His dissertation, The Traces of Change: Evidence in Evolutionary Biology, attempts to sketch a "big picture" of how testing and evidential reasoning work in these disciplines. Several of his recent projects have focused on the evolutionary dynamics of spite.
Julia Gouvea, Assistant Professor
Education

Julia Gouvea researches models-based reasoning in the learning and understanding of biology. Her scholarship intersects with the philosophy of biology to explore what makes biology unique and how the biological sciences interface with other disciplines within STEM and across the social sciences and humanities to solve complex problems.

Other Affiliations: Biology
Jess Keiser, Assistant Professor
English

Jess Keiser's area of specialization is 17th- and 18th-century English literature. He has published articles on madness, early modern materialism, and early modern satire, including "Nervous Figures: Enlightenment Neurology and the Personified Mind" and "What's the Matter with Madness? John Locke and the Physiology of Thought." His current book project, Nervous Fictions, considers the role of figurative language in early neuroscience.
Sheldon Krimsky, Lenore Stern Professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Sheldon Krimsky's research has focused on the linkages between science/technology, ethics/values and public policy. His areas of specialization include biomedical sciences, bioethics, science and technology studies, risk assessment and communication, social history of science, and environmental health. He is the author of many books and articles, including Genetic Alchemy: The Social History of the Recombinant DNA Controversy and most recently Stem Cell Dialogues: A Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry.
Keren Ladin, Assistant Professor
Occupational Therapy and Community Health

Keren Ladin researches questions at the intersection of ethics and health policy, largely related to allocation and prioritization of health resources for vulnerable populations. She has written about the role of social networks and social support in influencing health, medical decisions-making, and access to resources, primarily in areas of organ transplantation, aging, and disability. Her research has implications for understanding how social factors affect the development of illness and disability, and how they can be used to inform clinical and policy interventions to improve the health of vulnerable populations.

Other affiliations: Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts Medical School
Anne Mahoney, Lecturer
Classics

Anne Mahoney has worked on various digital humanities projects, including Perseus and the Stoa, and writes about DH for a general classical audience. As part of her work on how Renaissance and modern Latin writers creatively engage their classical heritage, she has taught Gauss's mathematical classic Disquisitiones Arithmeticae in Latin (and Greek math in ancient Greek as well). She also reviews books about ancient mathematics for classicists. Mahoney's main research focus is how poetry works, including the technical details of meter in Latin and ancient Greek.
Sarah Pinto, Associate Professor
Anthropology

Sarah Pinto studies the intersections of medicine, kinship, and intimacy, with a particular focus on mental health. Her work considers gender, clinical life and ideas about healing and affliction in India, as well as everyday challenges to ethical and interventionist paradigms. She is currently working on a history of hysteria in India. Her book Daughters of Parvati: Women and Madness in Contemporary India was awarded the Eileen Basker Memorial Prize for a significant contribution to anthropological scholarship on gender and health.

Other Affiliations: Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Alisha Rankin, Associate Professor
History

Alisha Rankin's interests include early modern European history (c. 1450-1700), the history of science and medicine, and women's history. Her first book, Panaceia's Daughters: Noblewomen as Healers in Early Modern Germany, examining German princesses who became widely known and admired for their medical knowledge in the sixteenth century, won the Gerald Strauss Prize for Reformation History. Her new book project looks at the important role poison antidotes played in attempts to evaluate early modern cures.

Other Affiliations: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Environmental Studies
Nick Seaver, Assistant Professor
Anthropology

Nick Seaver is a cultural anthropologist who studies the development of technologies for circulating and understanding sound. His current research examines the production of music recommendation algorithms and the theories of taste that inform their design. He has also written on the history of the player piano and the relationship between experimental music and audio recording technology.
George Smith, Professor
Philosophy

George Smith is trained in philosophy, mathematics, and engineering. After ten years as a working engineer, he was drawn back to academic philosophy, first by Vietnam-War-inspired questions about whether political science can be made a real science at all, and then by questions about what real science is in the first place. He has written on a range of topics in the philosophy of science, and in particular on Isaac Newton and the Principia Mathematica. Smith is a former head of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology.
Rosemary Taylor, Associate Professor
Sociology and Community Health

Rosemary Taylor works on the comparative history of disease and health policy, within the framework of political sociology. Her current project considers the generation of scientific knowledge, how it travels, and how it is factored (or not) into political decision-making. The two main case studies focus on viral contamination of the global blood supply with Hepatitis C and HIV.
Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, Associate Professor
Political Science

Jeff Taliaferro is a political scientist who studies United States foreign policy, security studies, intelligence and national security decision-making, and cybersecurity and policy. His current book project, provisionally titled Frenemies: Alliance Coercion in US Foreign Policy, examines US efforts to halt the nuclear weapons programs of various allies. He is interested in military technological innovation, cyber espionage, cyber-leveraged military operations, and nonproliferation.

Other Affiliations: International Relations Program
Ben Wolfe, Assistant Professor
Biology

Ben Wolfe's lab uses tractable microbial communities from food systems to study the ecological and evolutionary forces that shape microbial diversity. Wolfe is also interested in how the history of the field informs our current understanding of the microbial world; he is currently involved with research on public perceptions of microbes and how these perceptions can impact policy, human health, and food systems.

Other Affiliations: Environmental Studies