William San Martín is a historian and STS (Science & Technology Studies) Scholar interested in the intersections of scientific expertise and global environmental governance. His current research studies global nitrogen pollution with special attention to the rise of science and sustainable development policy in the Global South. He specializes in science-policy interface, environmental & animal studies, international development, race and ethnicity, and environmental justice and inequalities.
William is a native from Chile, where he received his B.A. (2006) and M.A. (2011) in History from the Universidad Católica de Chile. He received his Ph.D. in History (Latin American and World History) at the University of California Davis in 2017. Prior to joining WPI, he was a Visiting 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.
He is the recipient of the 2019 EHCA Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental History for the paper "The Place of National Science in Transnational Environmental Governance. Chile's Nitrogen Revolution and the Global Nitrogen Challenge." The prize is awarded by the Environmental History Research Cluster Austria, and acknowledges conceptual and empirical approaches to environmental history, which are interdisciplinary and contribute significantly to advancing the field as an interdisciplinary endeavor. His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Commission, Chile's National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT), the Max Planck Institute for Legal History in Frankfurt, Harvard University's Law School, its Institute for Global Law and Policy and the History Department, UC Davis' Division of Social Sciences, and MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, among others.
Before focusing his attention on global environmental issues, William worked on questions regarding race, justice, and legal systems in the 17th-19th century across the north-Atlantic and the Americas. Today, he combines these backgrounds on the long history of colonialism and state formation to provide a more integral approach to modern socio-ecological problems.
He designed and currently curates the collections "Technology and Expertise" and "Histories across Species" for Arcadia, the online, peer-review journal of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, a joint initiative of Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, the Deutsches Museum, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. He 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 a Digital Communications Manager for the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO).
At WPI, he has served as a faculty advisor for Interactive Qualifying Projects at the Costa Rica - Monteverde Project Center. He serves as a member of the steering committee for the Latin American Studies Initiative and teaches courses and seminars on the history and politics of environmental change and science and technology.
Introduction to Environmental History - 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 - 20th-Century American Foreign Relations: Science, Development & the Environment - The British Empire: Ecology, Animals, Poverty & Disease - Modern Latin America: Environment and Sustainability (Scheduled for D Term 2021) - Great Problem Seminars: Extinctions (Scheduled for A & B Term 2020)
Inquiry Seminars: Quantification, Models, and Metrics in Environmental Sciences and Policy - Sustainable Innovation Hubs - Global Environmental Policy - Global Climate Justice: Zoonotic and Vector-borne Diseases in the Era of Global Climate Change (Scheduled for D Term 2021)