PhD History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society, MIT, 2008
Current Position: Associate Professor, Undergraduate Chair, Science, Technology & Society, University of Pennsylvania
Etienne Benson is a historian of the environmental sciences with a particular interest in the field practices of late twentieth-century conservation biology.
Etienne received an AB in cognitive neuroscience from Harvard College in 1999 and an MA in psychology from Stanford University in 2001. He spent several years working as a science writer in Washington, DC, before enrolling in MIT's Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society, where he received his PhD in June 2008. His dissertation focused on the politics of surveillance in wildlife conservation. It showed how the practice of wildlife radio-tagging was contested by scientists, hunters, environmentalists, and other groups interested in wild animals and their habitats between the 1950s and the 1990s, and how those contests have shaped wildlife conservation today.
As a Ziff Environmental Fellow, Etienne worked with Janet Browne in the History of Science Department. In addition to continuing the work on environmental surveillance begun in his dissertation, he worked on a project that focused on the history of efforts to export modern conservation biology to the developing world during the Cold War era.
Janet Browne, History of Science