About

William San Martín is an interdisciplinary scholar of earth-systems sciences and global environmental governance trained in history, international politics & relations, and science & technology studies (STS). His work focuses on international development; Latin America & the Global South; socio-environmental (in)justices; and science, technology & the human environment.

William is currently a faculty member at the Department of Humanities & Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the United States, where he teaches history and global studies courses with an emphasis on global environmental science, technology, and governance. At WPI, he is a member of the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Steering Committee and an affiliated faculty with the International & Global Studies, the MS Community Climate Adaptation, and the Great Problems Seminar Programs.

William is a former Fulbright Scholar (2011-2015); a Visiting Scholar and a Postdoctoral Associate jointly affiliated with the program of Science, Technology, and Society and the History Section at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2016-2018); and a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany (2021).

Born and raised in Chile, William has vast experience in policy-oriented research and building collaborations with international organizations and communities. He is currently working on a project examining the rise of global nitrogen science and governance, with special attention to issues of socio-environmental injustice, colonialism, (under)development, and sustainable development in the Global South.

He is co-editor, along with Emily O’Gorman, Mark Carey, and Sandra Swart, of the Routledge Handbook of Environmental History (under contract) and author of various peer-reviewed articles and book chapters published in fields including history of science and technology, political ecology, environmental studies, sustainable development, and Latin American studies.

William is also a contributing author to the International Nitrogen Assessment (INA), the first global assessment addressing issues at the intersection of nitrogen science, management, and governance. Set for publication in 2022, INA is a major output from the International Nitrogen Management System Project (INMS), implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Selected Publications: 

  • “Unequal Knowledge: Justice, Colonialism, and Expertise in Global Environmental Research,” Global Environment, 14(2), 2021.
  • “Global Nitrogen in Sustainable Development: Four Challenges at the Interface of Science and Policy.” In Life on Land. Encyclopedia of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, edited by W. Leal Filho, A. Azul, L. Brandli, A. Lange Salvia, T. Wall, Cham: Springer, 2020.
  • with Diego Montecino. “Evidence supporting that human-subsidized free-ranging dogs are the main cause of animal losses in small-scale farms in Chile” Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment 48 (2019): 240-250.
  • “La Revolución del Nitrógeno en Chile. Expertos, Instituciones y el Desafío de la Sustentabilidad Agrícola.” In Historia de la Ciencia y la Tecnología en Chile, edited by C. Sanhueza, L. Valderrama, Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Forthcoming).
  • with Emily O’Gorman, Mark Carey, and Sandra Swart. Routledge Handbook of Environmental History (Under Contract).