Brent Ranalli

Brent Ranalli
Research Scholar
History, Philosophy, Policy
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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 and ways out; the ethics of science communication.

Environmental studies and big history

Interests include: animist epistemologies and indigenous ethics, concepts of purity and pollution, and energy regimes and societal values.

Thoreau studies

Interests include: Henry David Thoreau on civic virtue, Thoreau on Basic Income, 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):

to expand the reach and influence of common-wealth trusts on the model of the Alaska Permanent FundBrent's latest book, Common Wealth Dividends: History and Theory, was published in 2021 by Palgrave MacmillanOn the blog of sustainability think tank Feasta, Brent has published a primer on climate price-and-dividend policies and a primer on carbon permit auctioningto implement local currencies at refugee camps (the office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees took notice)to get youth engaged in agriculture through a voluntary national service programto reform Congress by means of a legislative secret ballot

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

Contact Brent at brent [dot] ranalli "at" ronininstitute /dot/ org

History, Philosophy