Science Is a Creative Human Enterprise: A Discussion with Natalie Aviles


Listen to this interview of Natalie Aviles, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia. We talk about how organizations shape people, and how people shape science.

Natalie Aviles : "I think, in general, the more self-conscious that scientists can be about what motivates them, about what makes them happy, about what drives them — the more, then, they can try to imagine a future that satisfies not only their intellectual curiosity but helps them navigate, too, the very sort of prosaic conditions that they find themselves in on a day-to-day basis."

Works referred to in the interview:

  • Natalie Aviles. An Ungovernable Foe: Science and Policy Innovation in the U.S. National Cancer Institute (Columbia University Press 2023)
  • Natalie Aviles. "Environing innovation: Toward an ecological pragmatism of scientific practice." (Sociological Perspectives 2023)
  • Robin Scheffler and Natalie Aviles. "State planning, cancer vaccine infrastructure, and the origins of the oncogene theory." (Social Studies of Science 2022)
  • Natalie Aviles. "Scientific innovation as environed social learning." (In: Inquiry, Agency, and Democracy. Edited by Gross, Reed, and Winship. Columbia University Press 2022)
  • Natalie Aviles. "Situated practice and the emergence of ethical research." (Science, Technology, & Human Values 2018)

Your Host

Daniel Shea

I am committed to helping scientists write at their best. To this end, I founded the Graduate Communication Services, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. Here I work in the unique role of textician. Want to know more? Contact me at
View Profile