Etienne Benson is Director of Department II, "Knowledge Systems and Collective Life." His research focuses on the history of environmental sciences and environmental politics in the United States and Europe from the late eighteenth century to the present, as well as on the history of human-animal relationships. He is the author of two books: Wired Wilderness: Technologies of Tracking and the Making of Modern Wildlife (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) and Surroundings: A History of Environments and Environmentalisms (University of Chicago Press, 2020). His current book project, Rivers of Data, explores the development of a quantitative science of landscapes in the twentieth century and its use in managing floods, erosion, and other water-related risks.
Etienne Benson received his doctorate in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008. From 2013 to 2022, he was a member of the standing faculty in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as chair of the undergraduate program in Science, Technology, and Society and chair of the graduate program in History and Sociology of Science. He has also held postdoctoral research positions at Harvard University and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and has been a visiting instructor at the University of Chicago and New York University–Berlin and a visiting scholar at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich. He has been a member of the Executive Council of the Society for the History of Technology, co-convener of SHOT’s Envirotech Special Interest Group, and co-convener of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Working Group at the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. His research has been supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council and the US National Science Foundation.
Benson, Etienne Samuel (2022). “The Post-Heroic Field.” Isis 113 (1): 114–120. https://doi.org/10.1086/718151.Read More
Brinitzer, Cameron, and Etienne Samuel Benson (2022). “Introduction: What Is a Field? Transformations in Fields, Fieldwork, and Field Sciences since the Mid-Twentieth Century.” Isis 113 (1): 108–113. https://doi.org/10.1086/718147.Read More
Benson, Etienne Samuel (2021). “Review of: Kelly, Duncan: Politics and the Anthropocene. Cambridge: Polity Press 2019.” H-Diplo Roundtable 22 (48). 22 (48). https://hdiplo.org/to/RT22-48.Read More
Benson, Etienne Samuel (2021). “Post-Domestication: The Posthuman.” In Handbook of Historical Animal Studies, ed. M. Roscher, B. Mizelle, A. Steinbrecher, and A. Krebber, 53–66. Berlin: DeGruyter Oldenbourg. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110536553-006.Read More