CAMBRIDGE MA — Sheila Jasanoff, the Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard Kennedy School, has been named winner of the 2018 Albert O. Hirschman Prize by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). The prize is awarded biannually to scholars who have made “outstanding contributions to international, interdisciplinary social science research, theory, and public communication.”

The nominating committee for this year’s prize described Jasanoff as an “intellectual whose interdisciplinary work has charted new territory and established the grounds for a new field inside the social sciences.”

Hirschman Prize Committee Chair Teresa Caldeira said, “Sheila Jasanoff’s work, like Albert O. Hirschman’s, crosses disciplinary boundaries and shares a deep concern with democracy and public policy.  A pioneer in the field of science and technology studies, Jasanoff focuses on the construction of public reason in contemporary democracies and asks hard questions about the role of science and technology in law, politics, and policy.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this award in the name of a scholar known for his deep concern for human development,” said Jasanoff. “Today, the field of science and technology studies (STS) engages with many of the problems and paradoxes that animated Hirschman's economic work, and I am especially grateful to the SSRC for recognizing the links between STS and his brand of skeptical theorizing.”

Jasanoff has authored more than 120 articles and chapters and is author or editor of more than 15 books, including The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, Designs on Nature, and The Ethics of Invention. Jasanoff founded and directs the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Science, Technology and Society, which seeks to develop foundational, policy-relevant insights into the nature of science and technology, and the ways in which they both influence and are influenced by society, politics, and culture.

Jasanoff has held distinguished visiting appointments at leading universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States. She has served on the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as president of the Society for Social Studies of Science. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds AB, JD, and PhD degrees from Harvard, and honorary doctorates from the universities of Twente and Liège.

The Social Science Research Council is an independent, international nonprofit founded in 1923. It is dedicated to fostering innovative research, nurturing new generations of social scientists, and mobilizing necessary knowledge on important public issues.

Jasanoff will receive the Hirschman Prize during ceremonies in New York City in November, 2018.