Barbara L. Allen Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies at Virginia Tech's Northern Virginia Center

7054 Haycock Rd, Falls Church, VA 22043 Phone: (703) 538-3780 FAX: (703) 538-8485

Barbara Allen

teaches graduate courses in the social study of science and technology at Virginia Tech's Washington DC-area campus in Falls Church, VA. Most recently she has taught courses on: sociology/anthropology of science and technology, sociology of knowledge and risk, public participation in environmental decision making, qualitative research methods, and advanced social theory. She has two current research projects that fall broadly within the political sociology of science and technology.

The first project examinies the dynamics of citizens, science, regulation and environmental justice in heavily polluted regions in the U.S. and the EU. She is interested in how people in different national, cultural and institutional contexts understand and respond to environmental problems towards regulatory change. Additionally, she examines how citizens, organizations, and other non-traditional science institutions participate in the shaping of policy-relevant scientific and technical knowledge.

Her second project, currently funded by the NSF, looks at both the efficacy of, and the types of justice embedded in, NGO efforts in the rebuilding and repatriation of post-disaster New Orleans from both the perpectives of the NGOs an the citizens. Through comparative analysis of the rebuilding of three heavily flooded neighborhoods, she hopes to draw conclusions on what synergies and alliances were most successful and why. For more information about this research, click here.

Allen received her Ph.D. in STS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1999. Prior to that she was both a professor and practitioner of architecture.

Publications in Science & Technology Studies
2012 Paesaggi chimici: scienza, attivismo e giustizia in Italia e Stati Uniti, (Milano: JACA Book) forthcoming.

2003 Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor Disputes, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

Edited Books
2011 Dynamics of Disaster: Lessons on Risk, Response, and Recovery, (London: Earthscan Press) edited with Rachel Dowty, foreword by Alan Irwin.

2006 Toward a Resilient Metropolis: The Role of State and Land Grant Universities in the 21st Century, (Alexandria, VA: Metropolitan Institute Press) co-edited with Chris Nelson and David Trauger.

2006 Southern United States: An Environment History, (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Press) co-edited with Donald Davis, Craig Colten, Megan Nelson, and Mikko Saikku.

Selected Publications of last 5 years
2012 "From Suspicious Illness to Policy Change in Petrochemical Regions: Popular Epidemiology, Science, and the Law in the U.S. and Italy" in Powerless Science? The Making of the Toxic World in the Twentieth Century,, eds. Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas (Oxford, UK: Berghahn Books), forthcoming.

2011 "A Tale of Two Lawsuits: Making Policy-Relevant Environmental Health Knowledge in Italian and US Chemical Regions" in Dangerous Trades,, eds. Chris Sellers and Jo Melling (Philadelphia: Temple Univerity Press).

2011 "Laboratorization and the "Green" Rebuilding of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward," in The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrinia, Late Capitalist Culture, and the Remaking of New Orleans,, ed. Cedric Johnson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).

2010 "Les Frontieres de la Sante Environnementale a L'epreuve," in Sur la Piste Environnementale,, eds. Madeleine Akrich, Yannick Barthe, and Catherine Remy (Paris: Presses des MINES) pp.197-222.

2008 "Environment, Health, and Missing Information," Environmental History, Vol. 13:4, pp.659-666.

2008 "Treme: The Challenges of an Equitable Recovery in New Orleans" co-authored with Isabelle Maret, Projections: MIT Journal of PLanning,, Vol. 8, pp.190-211.

2007 "La Transformazione Industriale del Basso Corso del Mississippi in Louisiana," I Frutti di Demetra, Vol. 14, pp.47-56.

2007 "Environmental Justice, Local Knowledge, and After Disaster Planning in New Orleans," Technology in Society, Vol. 29, pp.153-159.

2007 "Environmental Justice and Expert Knowledge in the Wake of a Disaster," Social Studies of Science, Vol. 37:1, pp.103-110.

Department of Science and Technology in Society
122 Lane Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: (540) 231-7615 Fax: (540) 231-7013 E-mail: Graduate Secretary