Jody A. Roberts

Chemical Heritage Foundation
Center for Contemporary History and Policy

Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA

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Major research interests concern the interplay of emerging and established science (particularly the molecular sciences) with environmental and science and technology policy. The goal is to better understand and represent the multiple ways in which our society attempts to exert control over chemical products and processes through the dynamic interactions between regulatory agencies, industries, community activists, and scientists and engineers. Current projects include: an examination of the writing and implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 in an effort to better articulate current needs in efforts too reform this statute; the evolution of the concept of pollution prevention as a guiding philosophy in environmental governance and its reduction to a technocratic approach to environmental management; the history of nanotechnology at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and ongoing legacies of exposure to asbestos in a manufacturing town near Philadelphia. In each of these projects, we employ a mixed methodology rooted in practices and theories emerging from the field of Science and Technology Studies. We utilize oral histories in nearly all of our work as a way of building historical archives and records while also giving voice to primary participants in the events and processes we research. As a non-profit research center, our work is made available not only to our academic peers, but also made accessible to communities of groups who can benefit most directly from our results.

Roberts, Jody A. 2008. "Collision Course: Science, Law and Regulation for Low Dose Toxicity." Villanova Environmental Law Journal 20 (1): 1-21.
Roberts, Jody A., and Nancy Langston. 2008. "The Body Toxic: Introduction to a Forum on Toxins, Bodies, and Environments." Environmental History 13 (4): 629-635.
Roberts, Jody A. 2010. "Reflections of an Unrepentant Plastiphobe: Plasticity, and the STS Life." Science as Culture 19 (1): 101-120.

Substantive Focus:
Environmental Policy
Science and Technology Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation