William San Martín is a global historian and STS (Science & Technology Studies) Scholar interested in the intersections of expertise, environmental change, and public policy. He specializes in science-policy interface, environmental & animal studies, international development, race & justice, and U.S.-Latin American relations.
William received his B.A. (2006) and M.A. (2011) in History from the Universidad Católica de Chile. In 2011, he moved to the United States with a four-years Fulbright Scholarship to conduct doctoral studies in Latin American and World History at the University of California -Davis. Prior to joining WPI, he was a Visiting a Scholar and a Postdoctoral Associate, jointly affiliated with the program of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and with the History Section at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His work examines the history of the science-policy interface to inform contemporary debates on environmental governance and sustainability. His main project studies global nitrogen flows from agricultural practices with special attention to sustainable development policy in the so-called Global South. His book manuscript, uses Chile's case to explore the political and scientific debates on the environmental effects of nitrogen fertilizers, the role of scientific expertise in decision-making, and the contributions of developing countries—such as Chile—to the global nitrogen problem. This project awarded him the 2019 EHCA Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental History.
Before focusing his attention on global environmental issues, William worked on questions regarding race, justice, and legal systems in the Americas (Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela). Today, he combines these backgrounds to provide a more integral approach to modern socio-ecological problems.
As a product of his interests in bridging questions about justice, inequality, and the environment, William recently joined an interdisciplinary project examining the social and policy dimensions of free-ranging dogs. Free-ranging dogs, as an invasive carnivore, affect humans and other animals globally. This research studies dogs as an environmental justice issue and examines how integrating the social and ecological dimensions can provide novel insights into policy.
To invite others to think about justice and inequalities across species, William created and curate the collection "Histories across species" for Arcadia, the online, peer-review journal of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany. Link: http://www.environmentandsociety.org/arcadia/collection/16979
Beyond teaching and research, he co-founded, and runs ConscientiaGroup, an international non-profit organization focused on the science-policy interface in environmental and animal welfare issues in Chile. Link: https://www.conscientiagroup.org/english.html
William currently serves as an elected member for the Nominations Committee of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS), as a member of the Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), and as Web and Media Assistant for the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO).
Undergraduate Courses Taught:
Introduction to the History of Science and Technology
Topics in Environmental History: Race and Global Environmental Justice
Topics in Global Studies: Science and Politics of Animal Rights
The British Empire: Ecology, Animals, Poverty & Disease
Energy, Environment, & Society: Global Politics, Technologies, and Ecologies of the Water-Energy-Food Crises
Latin America and US-Latin American Relations: Social Movements, Development, and Environmental Change
Quantification, Models, and Metrics in Environmental Sciences and Policy
Sustainable Innovation Hubs
Global Environmental Policy (Scheduled for Spring 2020)