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Gwen Ottinger, PhD

Gwen Ottinger, PhD

Department of Politics
Center for Science, Technology and Society
Center for Public Policy
Office: 3101 Market Street, Room 217

Additional Sites:

Fair Tech Collective


  • PhD, Energy and Resources, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
  • BS, Science, Technology and Culture, Georgia Tech, 1997
  • BAE, Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Tech, 1997

Curriculum Vitae:

Download (PDF)

Research Interests:

  • Environmental justice
  • Political theory
  • Science and technology policy
  • Citizen science
  • Science and engineering ethics
  • Information infrastructures
  • Community-based research


I became interested in science and technology studies (STS) as an undergraduate engineering student in Georgia. When my flight performance professor off-handedly mentioned fuel dumping, I immediately wanted to know: Dumping on whom? With what consequences? And who gets to decide whether that’s okay?

As a graduate student in an interdisciplinary environmental studies program, I pursued questions about the human, political and environmental dimensions of science and technology. That led me to research at the intersection of STS and environmental justice studies, focusing on social inequality in the distribution of environmental hazards and decision-making power.

Now I direct a research group called the Fair Tech Collective. We use social science to foster social and environmental justice in science and technology, and we collaborate with residents of communities on the front lines of petrochemical pollution. Our work involves doing basic research, creating technologies that put our findings into practice, and working to influence policy through commentary and consultation. Students from all majors and backgrounds are welcome in the Fair Tech Collective. If our work interests you, please get in touch.

I advise STAR Fellows, Custom-design Majors, and research co-ops. I teach in the Political Science major and the Science, Technology and Society minor. My course on Innovation and Social Justice is especially important to me, because it takes political theory and applies it to understanding how technological innovation could better support positive social change. Look for it under the course number SCTS 202.

Selected Publications: