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Perrin Selcer

Assistant Professor

Office Location(s): 2642 Haven Hall
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Department of History
    • Program in Science, Technology & Society
    • Program in International and Comparative Studies
  • Fields of Study
    • Global environmental history
    • History and sociology of science, focusing on 20th century environmental and human sciences
    • International organizations and international development
    • U.S. and the World
  • About

    Perrin Selcer works at the intersections of environmental history, history of science, and international relations. His current research focuses on how experts affiliated with UN agencies made the global human environment a central concern of the international community. His 2011 dissertation, “Patterns of Science: Developing Knowledge for a World Community at Unesco,” which won the best dissertation prize from the Forum for the History of the Human Sciences, was supported by the Social Science Research Council. A National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship has supported research for his forthcoming manuscript, "Constructing Spaceship Earth: UN Scientists and the Cold War Origins of Sustainable Development,"  which is under contract with Columbia University Press’ International and Global History Series.

    Undergraduate Courses:

    Global Environmental History
    Science, Technology, Medicine and Society
    The Conquest of Nature: The History of Imperial and International Development Projects
    Science, Technology, Medicine, and War.

    Selected Publications:

    “Beyond the Cephalic Index: Negotiating Politics to Produce Unesco’s Scientific Statements on Race,” Current Anthropology 53, supplement 5: The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations: World Histories, National Styles, and International Networks (April 2012): s173-s184.

    “The View from Everywhere: Disciplining Diversity in post-World War Two International Social Science,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 45: 4 (Fall 2009): 309-329.

    “Standardizing Wounds: Alexis Carrel and the Scientific Management of Life during World War I,” British Journal for the History of Science 42: 1 (March 2008): 73-107.