Barbara Herr Harthorn

CNS Person
Professor of Anthropology; Director, NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society; Group leader, NSF/EPA UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology
CNS Affiliation
Executive Committee
IRG leader
Research Group: 
Research Group: 

Barbara Herr Harthorn, Principal Investigator and Director of the CNS, is also Professor of  Anthropology, and affiliated faculty in Feminist Studies and Sociology at UCSB. In the CNS-UCSB she leads Interdisciplinary Research Group 3, which focuses on public, expert and media views on nanotechnologies' risks. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the NSF/EPA UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN).  In the UC CEIN she leads an interdisciplinary research group in Theme 7, which conducts research on nanomaterials and Environmental Risk Perception. Her research broadly examines culture and health, health inequality, and technological risk and perception; in particular she is studying the intersections of socially constructed risk with gender, ethnicity/race, and other categories of difference.

Her current work in the CNS-UCSB examines nanotechnological risk perception among both experts and diverse US and comparative UK publics. Her work is published in a variety of social science, medical care, public health, environmental science and technology, technology and society, and nanoscience journals. She is editor (with John Mohr) of The Social Life of Nanotechnology (2012) and (with Laury Oaks) of Risk, Culture, and Health Inequality: Shifting Perceptions of Danger and Blame (2003). She received a doctorate in medical anthropology and transcultural psychiatry from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College; she completed postdoctoral research in social psychology at UCSB.