Barbara Allen

Barbara Allen
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

16/09/2013 - 14/02/2014



Fonction d’origine

Professeure associée et directrice du Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society

Institution d’origine

Department of Science and Technology in Society, Université Virginia Tech, Washington DC (États-Unis)

Fonction actuelle


Institution actuelle

Department of Science and Technology in Society, Université Virginia Tech, Washington DC (États-Unis)

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Communities and Environmental Challenges: Shaping Policy-Relevant Knowledge and Technological Transformation in a Comparative Perspective

The goal of this international comparative research is to understand how citizen participation shapes policy-relevant science, regulatory outcomes, and environmental transformation by analyzing four industrial regions. Fieldwork will have been completed in three industrial regions prior to arrival at IMéRA (Italy, Germany, U.S.) and my time at the institute will primarily be spent researching the industrial area of Fos-sur-Mer, near Marseille. Questions asked include: In what ways do citizens engage with and influence the making of environmental science and how does that science gain policy-relevance in different national and cultural contexts? How do government regulatory structures, legal systems, professional and non-professional cultures, NGOs, and labor unions impact the making of policy-relevant environmental knowledge? How have environmental conditions, industrial response, and technological transformation varied in these three chemical regions and why? The central questions of the research are aligned with the study’s objectives and research methodology, namely qualitative methods that include: archival research, historical literature review, and document analysis, interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork.


Barbara L. Allen is a professor in the Department of Science and Technology in Society at Virginia Tech's Washington DC regional campus and former Director of the Graduate Program in Science & Technology Studies. Her research interests include environmental health and justice ; participatory science ; sociology of knowledge ; technoscience and justice. Allen also teaches graduate courses in the social study of science and technology, including: social study of science and technology, sociology of knowledge, public participation in S+T,  qualitative research methods, and science, technology and social justice. She obtained her Ph.D. in STS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York State, US) in 1999.


Barbara Allen a réçu un financement pour trois ans de Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l’Alimentation, de l’Environnement et du Travail pour un projet basé au Centre Norbert Elias (CNRS/EHESS) sur l'approche participative de lutte contre la dégradation environnementale à Fos-sur-mer.