I manage the Environmental History and Policy Program in the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. We work on projects that sit at the intersection of the chemical sciences and environment and health. Our projects are designed to bring deeper historical and social analyses to contemporary problems in the hopes that these insights might offer alternative ways of viewing the problem and therefore new opportunities for creating solutions. The primary focus of our work is to understand the ways in which we, as a society, attempt to control chemicals through traditional and innovative ways. This gives us an opportunity to examine more typical modes of action (e.g., regulation) as well as highlighting the role that community activism and technical innovations can play.
I received my B.S. in chemistry from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa, where I also grew up. Some summer jobs making stain and paint and a year post-graduation smelting aluminum in a research lab helped me to realize that I have always been more interested in the context of chemistry than in practicing it. I moved to Blacksburg, VA where I received my M.S. and Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech. I moved to Philadelphia in 2005 and was a fellow at CHF for two years before establishing the Environmental History and Policy Program.