What I do

I study, teach, and write about the interface of science and policy.

Society is increasingly governed by technological systems, finance included. These systems provide ways to spread democratic ideals of equitability and enlightenment, or they can serve to hide those responsible for social inequities and indignities.

I break down complex technological systems into their smallest parts to demonstrate the ways actual humans- people like you and me- dictate the way these systems work, how they are used, and who in society wins and loses. I do this to empower others- students, policymakers, technologists, and the public- by providing them with understanding, ideas and logic tools they need to overcome coercion rooted in complexity.

Why I Do IT

I believe…

  • All people deserve dignity;

  • Science and technology is not necessarily virtuous, it depends on its outcomes;

  • Most social problems are not as complicated as they seem but there is infinite power in telling people they do not or will not understand.

How I do It

I am trained in the analytical framework of the Policy Sciences developed by Harold Lasswell and rooted in the philosophical tradition of pragmatism. I use a multi-method and contextual approach to understand policy problems, clarify objectives, identify trends towards success or failure, and make judgements about responsibility for outcomes.

My work takes a social constructivist approach such that the meaning of things is highly dependent on perspective and context. That said, there is no sense deconstructing everything. We must start with a shared acceptance that facts exist. For instance, the internet exists as a fact, it is made possible by other scientific facts about how electricity works, and it is used globally by billions. However, the meaning of the internet- it’s goodness or importance is debated by many based on a different selection of facts that different groups consider relevant.

I am interdisciplinary. My work garners insight from a range of disciplines to make sense of situations. I draw primarily from the natural and physical sciences, and the diverse field of science and technology studies, science and technology policy, the social studies of finance. I do not discriminate against knowledge fields but recognize that different disciplines have different cultures and ideals. That is to say, I don’t subscribe to one method. I like logical, straightforward arguments using simple analyses and critical theory. If I need a type of analysis that is beyond my wheelhouse, I team up with an expert in that area.

Who I am

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  

I earned my doctorate from the University of Colorado Boulder where I studied at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.  I also have a Master of Arts in Climate and Society from Columbia University and a Bachelors of Science in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin.  

I grew up on Miami Beach, Florida and have since traveled quite a bit nationally and internationally.

In recreation and leisure, I love…

  • yoga

  • Crossfit 

  • the outdoors- ocean, mountains, desert, or garden

  • agility with my dog, Dade

  • snuggling with my dog, Brando, and my cat, Lux

  • tending to a flock of curious chickens

  • spending time with my loving family

I am also a volunteer with Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity in their Homeowner’s Services department.