Brent Ranalli

Brent is a Boston-based policy professional and researcher, trained in intellectual history at Harvard and environmental science and policy at the Central European University. Areas of research include the following:

Science studies

Interests include: the social/ethical underpinnings of the authority and credibility of scientific communities; the persistence of scientific norms over centuries; the religious roots of scientific culture in the seventeenth century; the climate science culture wars; the ethics of science communication.

Environmental studies

Interests include: animist epistemologies and indigenous ethics, concepts of purity and pollution.

Thoreau studies

Interests include: Henry David Thoreau on civic virtue, Thoreau’s interest in and emulation of Native American virtues, reconstructing Thoreau’s walking gait.

Blue sky policy proposals (alone and in collaboration with others):

Brent co-edits Environment: An Interdisciplinary Anthology for Yale University Press, serves on the editorial advisory board of the Thoreau Society Bulletin, and comments on current (and ancient) affairs at

Contact Brent at