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. He holds a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Cornell University and an MSc in Law, Anthropology & Society from the London School of Economics. His current ethnographic book project Deep Time Reckoning: Nuclear Waste, Anthropocene Expertise, Far Future Finlands (forthcoming Fall 2020 with The MIT Press) explores how safety assessment experts working on Finland’s spent nuclear fuel repository project at Olkiluoto grappled with deep time, death, and the limits of human imagination. He is currently developing a second interview-based ethnographic project on the 2014 “kitty litter” radiological accident at the WIPP defense nuclear waste repository in New Mexico. Vincent has been a U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (2011-2016), a Mellon Fellow at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities (2015-2016), and a MacArthur Postdoctoral Fellow at the Elliott School. Alongside his academic publications, he has written articles for NPR, Forbes, Physics Today, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and other outlets.


PhD, Cornell University; MSc, London School of Economics


2020. “Specters of Seppo: The Afterlives of Finland’s Nuclear Waste Experts.” Forthcoming in 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).