Vincent Ialenti



Vincent Ialenti received his PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Cornell in 2017. He is currently a Berggruen Fellow at University of Southern California's Dornsife Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life. His recent book Deep Time Reckoning (MIT Press, 2020) is an ethnographic study of how Finland’s nuclear energy waste repository safety case experts grappled with distant future ecosystems and the limits of knowledge. His current ethnographic project explores the technopolitical, financial, and temporal drivers behind U.S. nuclear weapons waste drum breach accidents. Vincent’s research on nuclear waste expert culture has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, and The MacArthur Foundation. He has held fellowships at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs and University of British Columbia's School of Public Policy & Global Affairs. Alongside his academic publications, Vincent has written for the BBC, Scientific American, NPR, Forbes, Sapiens, and other outlets.  

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2021. “Drum Breach: Error Politics, Operational Temporalities, and WIPP’s Kitty Litter Nuclear Waste Accident.” Social Studies of Science 51(3).

2021. “Mankala Chronicles: Nuclear Energy Financing & Cooperative Corporate Form in Finland.” Nuclear Technology: Journal of The American Nuclear Society 207(9).

2020. “Generation.” In Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon (eds. Cymene Howe & Anand Pandian). Brooklyn, NY: Punctum Press.

2020. Deep Time Reckoning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

2020. “Specters of Seppo: The Afterlives of Finland’s Nuclear Waste Experts.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 26(2).

2019. “Alter-Ecologies: Envisioning Papal & Ecomodernist Nuclear Energy Policy Futures.” In Care for the World: Laudato Si & Catholic Social Thought in an Era of Climate Crisis (ed. Frank Pasquale). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

2018. “Waste Makes Haste: How a Campaign to Speed up Nuclear Waste Shipments Shut Down the WIPP Long-Term Repository.” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 74(4).

2017. “Death & Succession Among Finland’s Nuclear Waste Experts.” Physics Today 70(10).

2014. “Adjudicating Deep Time: Revisiting the United States’ High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository Project at Yucca Mountain.” Science & Technology Studies 27(2).