Visiting Fellow, Spring 2019
Stathis Arapostathis is Assistant Professor in the History of Science and Technology in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. He completed his DPhil in Modern History, University of Oxford. His research interests cover: the history of intellectual property in science and technology; the history of the relationship between science and technology; the history of energy infrastructures; the history and sociology of technology and the environment; and the history and sociology of expertize. He has held research positions and fellowships in Britain (Universities of Leeds, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Oxford) and the USA (Fulbright Fellow, Law School, UC at Davis). He has co-authored (with Graeme Gooday) the award-winning book Patently Contestable: Electrical Technologies and Inventor Identities on Trial in Britain (MIT Press, 2013) and recently co-edited (with Aristotle Tympas) a special issue in the journal History of Technology on the History and Historiography of Technology in Greece from 19th to 21st Century, 33 (2017). He has been published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes.
The goal of the research proposal is to study the role of experts in the making of environmental and state policies in Greece from 1950 to the present. The focus of the study is the social construction of environment and the legitimization of public policies that promoted development models which prioritized economies of scale, intensification of agricultural production, exploitation of natural resources and the construction of large-scale technological infrastructures. Following contemporary approaches from the Science, Technology and Society (STS) field (see below), the study focuses on the co-production of techno-scientific networks, the environment and the state. The focus of the study is the historical shaping of policies and practices in the fields of energy production, water management, agricultural production and industrial pollution in urban and suburban areas; the environment will be given particular emphasis. The research study will move into two interconnected and complementary directions: a) the co-production of the socio-technical regimes with state policies through the agency of experts; b) the legitimization of scientific practices and the use of techno-scientific networks which configured the meaning of environment. These two directions are closely interconnected within the context of technocratic ideologies that prevailed in different industrial sectors and state policies.