Dr. Jessica Smith is an Anthropologist who studies the Mining, Oil and Gas industries, with a focus on corporate social responsibility, engineering, labour, and gender. As Associate Professor in the Engineering, Design & Society Division of the Colorado School of Mines, she teaches and conducts interdisciplinary research with engineers and applied scientists. She is the author of Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West (Rutgers University Press, 2014), which was funded by the US National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.
While posted at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews as part of her Visiting Fellowship, Dr. Smith will advance her current ethnographic monograph exploring the intersections of engineering and corporate social responsibility in the mining and petroleum industries and build on her and Dr Mette High’s joint work setting new directions in the anthropology of energy. Specifically, they will develop an interdisciplinary approach to understanding an under-theorized yet crucial dimension of this topic: the ethical imaginations, evaluations and practices of the engineers, executives and other personnel who constitute the backbone of energy industries yet have remained at the margins of ethnographic attention. Dr. Smith and Dr. High co-organized the 2016 Energy Ethics: Fragile Lives and Imagined Futures conference at the University of St. Andrews, and Dr. Smith is a co-convener of the STS Underground network.