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Cynthia Selin

Cynthia Selin

Associate Professor, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures


Center for Nanotechnology in Society
Arizona State University
PO Box 875603
Tempe, AZ 85287-5603


  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
  • Associate Professor, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures
  • Associate Professor, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes


Cynthia Selin is an interdisciplinary scholar of Science, Technology and Society (STS) with significant research, outreach and training experience at the intersection between sustainability, foresight and the governance of innovation. Dr. Selin’s research investigates novel scenario methods and future-oriented deliberative processes. Dr. Selin has conducted future-oriented research around nanotechnology, climate change, human enhancement, renewable energy systems, medical diagnostics, cities, nuclear energy and synthetic biology. Dr. Selin has published broadly on foresight and innovation with publications in Science, Technology and Human Values, Futures, Cities, Science and Engineering Ethics, and Time & Society. In addition to her theoretical and applied research into the ways and means of the future, Dr. Selin has worked extensively and pragmatically with scenarios and strategy across a diverse array of organizations including large companies, laboratories, cities, museums, non-profits and multi-stakeholder groups. Dr. Selin is also an Associate Fellow at the University of Oxford where she is core faculty in the Oxford Scenarios Programme.


  • PhD, Knowledge and Management, Institute for Politics, Philosophy and Management, Copenhagen Business School, 2006
  • MA, Science and Technology Studies, Roskilde University/Maastricht University, 2000
  • BA, American Studies, University of California-Santa Cruz, 1996


External Links

Journal Articles


Selin, C., K. Campbell Rawlings, K. de Ridder-Vignone, J. Sadowski, C. Altamirano Allende, G. Gano, S. R. Davies and D. H. Guston. 2017. Experiments in engagement: Designing public engagement with science and technology for capacity building. Public Understanding of Science 26(6):634-649. DOI: 10.1177/0963662515620970. (link )


Davies, S. R., C. Selin, S. Rodegher, C. A. Allende, M. Burnam-Fink, C. DeVittorio, C. Glerup, C. Keys, M. Kimball, M. Liao, C. Monfreda and B. Trinidad. 2015. Studying Emerge: Findings from an event ethnography. Futures 70(Jun):75-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2014.05.003. (link )

Selin, C. 2015. Merging art and design in foresight: Making sense of Emerge. Futures 70(Jun):24-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2014.12.006. (link )


Wiek, A., D. Guston, S. van der Leeuw, C. Selin and P. Shapira. 2013. Nanotechnology in the city: Sustainability challenges and anticipatory governance. Journal of Urban Technology 20(2):45-62. DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2012.735415. (link )


Selin, C. 2011. Negotiating plausibility: Intervening in the future of nanotechnology. Science and Engineering Ethics 17:723-737. DOI: 10.1007/s11948-011-9315-x. (link )



Fisher, E., C. Selin and J. M. Wetmore eds. 2008. The Yearbook of NanoTechnology in Society: Volume I: Preventing Futures. Springer Science + Business Media B.V. . ISBN: 978-1402084157.

Book Chapters


Withycombe Keeler, L., M. J. Bernstein and C. Selin. 2019. Intervening through futures for sustainable presents: Scenarios, sustainability, and responsible research and innovation. Pp. 255-282 In: Losch, A., A. Grunwald, M. Meister and I. Schulz-Schaeffer eds., Socio-Technical Futures Shaping the Present: Empirical Examples and Analytical Challenges in Social Studies of Science and Technology and Technology Assessment. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-658-27155-8.


Konrad, K., H. Van Lente, C. Groves and C. Selin. 2018. Performing and governing the future in science and technology. Pp. 465-494 In: Felt, U., R. Fouche, C. A. Miller and L. Smith-Doerr eds., The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, Fourth Edition. MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262035682.


Barben, D., E. Fisher, C. Selin and D. H. Guston. 2008. Anticipatory governance of nanotechnology: Foresight, engagement, and integration. Pp. 979-1000 In: Hackett, E. J., O. Amsterdamska, M. Lynch and J. Wajcman eds., The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, 3rd Ed.. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA. ISBN: 978-0262083645.



Rodegher, S. and C. Selin. 2013. Scenario planning for sustainability: Enhancing participation through understanding social influence. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2013: Sustainability Psychology, 17 January 2013, New Orleans, LA. (link )



Rodegher, S. and C. Selin. 2015. Parity and participation: The role of social influence in scenario planning. Presentation at the Anticipation 2015, Project Anticipation: The UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems, 5-7 November 2015, Trento, Italy. (link )


Rodegher, S. and C. Selin. 2014. Scenario planning for sustainability: Are diverse voices heard?. Presentation at the 16th Annual International Conference for the Society of Ethics Across the Curriculum, 2 October 2014, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )


Selin, C. and S. Rodegher. 2013. Persuasion and influence in scenario planning: Overcoming barriers to learning from the future. Presentation at the Society for Psychologists in Management 2013 Conference– Enjoy a Look Ahead – Thriving in the Future, 22 February 2013, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )


Withycombe Keeler, L., A. Wiek, C. Selin, D. Lang and V. Schweizer. 2012. How to evaluate and construct plausibility in future scenarios?. A case study of value-based future scenarios of water in Phoenix, Arizona. Invited Presentation at the International Workshop on Ethics, Plausibility and Innovation, May 10-11, 2012, European Union Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy.