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Katie Barnhill-Dilling – Environmental Justice Reconsidered: Epistemic Dominance in the Governance of Environmental Biotechnologies | GES Colloquium (Zoom)

October 27, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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Environmental Justice Reconsidered: Epistemic Dominance in the Governance of Environmental Biotechnologies

Speaker: Katie Barnhill-Dilling, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, NC State University

Website | Email | Twitter @barnhilldilling


Environmental justice scholarship and practice often focuses on distributive or procedural dimensions of justice. While these are important, here I argue that the politics of recognition is foundational to these other two dimensions of environmental justice. Drawing on the case study of the Genetically Engineered American Chestnut tree and working with Haudenosaunee environmental and tribal leaders, I put forth that recognizing sovereignty and worldview are critical to a just governance of chestnut restoration. This framework also offers insight into other environmental biotechnologies, particularly those being proposed for species protection.


  • Delborne, J., Kokotovich, A., & Barnhill-Dilling, S. K. (2018). Engaging community with humility. Science362(6414), 532-533
  • Barnhill-Dilling, S.K., Rivers, L. & Delborne, J.A. (2019) Rooted in recognition: Indigenous environmental justice and the genetically engineered American chestnut. Society & Natural Resources.
  • Barnhill-Dilling, S. K., & Delborne, J. A. (2019). The genetically engineered American chestnut tree as opportunity for reciprocal restoration in Haudenosaunee communities. Biological Conservation232, 1-7.
  • Delborne, J.A., Binder, A.R., Rivers, L., Barnes, J.C., Barnhill-Dilling, S.K., George, D., Kokotovich, A., and Sudweeks, J. (2018). Biotechnology, the American Chestnut Tree, and Public Engagement (Workshop Report). Genetic Engineering and Society Center, North Carolina State University. Available online:

Speaker Bio

Dr. Katie Barnhill-Dilling is a postdoctoral research scholar at North Carolina State University in the Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources. She is a social scientist, exploring just environmental decision-making.

Broadly, her research focuses on engaging diverse communities and stakeholders in complex environmental and natural resource governance questions. More specifically, she explores the politics and social science around emerging applications of biotechnology in biodiversity conservation and restoration.

Katie situates herself at an intersection of Science, Technology, and Society studies — in particular public engagement with science and technology — and Environmental Justice. Her focus is primarily on qualitative methodologies, including in-depth interviews, focus group facilitation, and participant observation.


October 27, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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