Vincent Ialenti

Headshot of Vincent Ialenti
Assistant Research Professor
Suite 403, Elliott School of International Affairs

Areas of Expertise

nuclear waste management, environmental security, policy imagination, scientific authority, ethnography

Vincent Ialenti is an Assistant Research Professor at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. His book Deep Time Reckoning (MIT Press, 2020) draws on his fieldwork among Finland's nuclear waste repository safety case experts to propose imaginative strategies - "reckonings" - for envisioning potential far future worlds. His current research project explores political-economic drivers to U.S. transuranic waste "drum breach" accidents. Vincent’s research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, and The MacArthur Foundation. He has published in Social Studies of Science, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Physics Today, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Alongside his academic work, Vincent has written for NPR, Forbes, Atlas Obscura, and other public outlets. Vincent holds a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Cornell University and a MSc in Law, Anthropology & Society from the London School of Economics.


PhD, Cornell University; MSc, London School of Economics


2020. “Drum Breach: Error Politics, Operational Temporalities, and WIPP’s Kitty Litter Nuclear Waste Accident.” Forthcoming in Social Studies of Science.

2020. “Specters of Seppo: The Afterlives of Finland’s Nuclear Waste Experts.” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 26(2).

2019. “Alter-Ecologies: Envisioning Papal & Ecomodernist Nuclear Energy Policy Futures.” Care for the World: Laudato Si & Catholic Social Thought in an Era of Climate Crisis (ed. Frank Pasquale). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

2018. “Waste Makes Haste: How a Campaign to Speed up Nuclear Waste Shipments Shut Down the WIPP Long-Term Repository.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 74(4).

2017. “Death & Succession Among Finland’s Nuclear Waste Experts.” Physics Today 70(10).

2014. “Adjudicating Deep Time: Revisiting the United States’ High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository Project at Yucca Mountain.” Science & Technology Studies 27(2).