Christopher Bosso’s areas of expertise include food and environmental policy, science and technology policy, and the governance of emerging technologies. Here, he describes how he tackles real-world urban and social problems through politics.
Q: What kinds of questions do you address in your work?
A: I’m interested, broadly, in how we as society try to balance the benefits of technologies and the benefits of producing goods and services with needs to protect public health and the environment. In my work on food systems, I don’t come at it as a nutritionist or an economist. My questions are political. Who decides food policy? How do they get a seat at the table—and who isn’t included? What impact does that have on society? Why is it that nutrition programs are run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture instead of Health and Human Services?
Q: What projects are you working on now?
A: I’m writing a book on the last farm bill, which is contentious. I’m looking at the politics of the farm bill as a way to look at American politics more broadly: its ideology, its partisanship, how it pits people’s interests against each other, budget concerns. When looking at farm bill, I don’t care as much about its substance, but more the politics surrounding it, the process and institutions involved historically that have created the current programs and processes. Those are the kinds of questions we look at when teaching and researching.