Research/Areas of Interest: Environmental sociology, science and technology studies, culture, political sociology, economic sociology, law and society, social and political theory, qualitative and computational methods


  • PhD Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States, 2020
  • MA Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States, 2016
  • MA Political Science, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, United States, 2014
  • BA Political Science and Economics, Portland State University, Portland, United States, 2012


Caleb Scoville is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tufts University. He studies the politics of environmental knowledge. He is particularly interested in how "nature" takes on meaning at the intersections of various social and technical domains in the context of political conflict and environmental change.

In a current book project on the case of the delta smelt, an endangered species of fish caught in the center of California's "water wars," he analyzes the dynamic interplay of extractive infrastructure, science, law, and public sphere controversy in response to water scarcity and biodiversity loss. This work has received awards from the American Sociological Association's sections on Environmental Sociology, Science Knowledge and Technology, and Animals and Society, as well as the Pacific Sociological Association and the University of California, Berkeley's Department of Sociology, where he completed his doctoral studies. During his graduate studies at Berkeley, he held fellowships sponsored by the Center for the Study of Law & Society, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Center for Technology, Society & Policy, and the Algorithmic Fairness and Opacity Working Group.

He is engaged in several collaborative research projects including one project on how artificial intelligence technologies are shaping the field of environmental conservation (with Carl Boettiger, Millie Chapman, and Razvan Amironesei), another on the moral regulation of states by financial markets (with Marion Fourcade and Irem Inal), and a third on the politics of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic (with Andrew McCumber, Razvan Amironesei, June Jeon, and Tara Gonsalves). His background in political theory grounds an enduring research and teaching interest in the meanings of foundational concepts, in particular "freedom" and "nature." In a second book-length project he plans to study how the environment became an object of America's partisan culture wars.

His published work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in the American Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society, Theory Culture and Society, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, One Earth, Science as Culture, Citizenship Studies, Ethics Policy and Environment, The Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and The New Handbook of Political Sociology (Cambridge University Press).

Caleb teaches Environmental Sociology and Sociological Theory at Tufts University. He is a faculty affiliate with the Environmental Studies Program at Tufts, an affiliate of the Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and an affiliated scholar with the Climate Social Science Network at the Institute at Brown for Environment & Society.