frank laird


Frank Laird

Josef Korbel School of International Studies
University of Denver
2201 South Gaylord Street
Denver, CO 80208-0280

Tel: 303-871-4462
Fax: 303-871-2456

Frank is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.  His research and expertise focus on Science, technology and public policy; and the analysis of political and social conditions that affect the public acceptance of new, powerful technologies.

Frank's educational background is interdisciplinary.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Middlebury College, did one year of graduate work in solid state physics at Edinburgh University in Scotland (no degree received), and received a Ph.D. in political science, specializing in science, technology, and public policy, from MIT.  After graduate school, Frank did post-doctoral work in environmental policy in the at Harvard University’s School of Public Health.

Most of Frank's research has focused on energy policy, particularly the way that renewable energy policies can affect environmental policy.  His book Solar Energy, Technology Policy, and Institutional Values (Cambridge University Press 2001) looked at the ways in which institutionally embedded ideas shaped energy policy over a 35 year period.  The book was a finalist for 2004 Don K. Price Award for the best book in science and technology policy or politics, awarded by the Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics section of the American Political Science Association.  Frank has a new project comparing US and German renewable energy policy funded by the National Science Foundation.  He has also published in the areas of climate change policy, environmental policy, democratic theory and S&T policy, and institutions and S&T policy.  Frank is currently writing on, among other things, problems of institutional learning in complex S&T issues.  He is particularly interested in the ways that different institutions cope with S&T issues and how one can improve institutions to make S&T better serve societal needs.  His earlier research has also been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.

As part of his service to the larger community, Frank has chaired and served on the public policy committee the American Solar Energy Society, during which time he wrote a bi-monthly column for the society’s magazine, Solar Today.  In addition, Frank served on the Society’s board of directors.  He has also served on numerous National Science Foundation review panels, as well as being a peer reviewer for numerous journals and university presses.  Frank has also been an invited participant in NSF workshops designed to shape future research agendas for the agency’s programs on science and society.  He has also been a participant in other workshops focused on research agendas, such as one sponsored by the United Nations University on the linkages between international environmental treaties, one sponsored by European research groups and held in Lisbon, and one sponsored by an Italian academic group and held in Perugia.

Please visit Frank's homepage at the University of Denver.