Kristoffer Whitney F'11
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2011
University of Pennsylvania
A Knot in Common: Science, Politics, and Values in Crowded Nature
This dissertation is a historical and sociological study of the science and politics surrounding a migratory shorebird called the red knot, focusing on international wildlife biologists and managers who research red knots in the western hemisphere and advocate for their conservation. It traces networks of expertise, authority, and interests surrounding these animals, combining sociological field work with textual analysis of contemporary and historical documents related to red knot conservation. This work asks how technical knowledge about nature is generated and about the role of values (broadly conceived) in knowledge generation, and the ways in which both 'facts and values' are constitutive of environmental regulation—with implications for a wide range of scholarship and policy.