Lauren Richter

Lauren RIchter


Lauren Richter is a Research Fellow at the Silent Spring Institute and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University in Boston. Her fellowship is funded by a Leadership Grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northeastern University, and her research focuses on social inequality, environmental justice, and health social movements. Her dissertation examined scientific controversies surrounding chemical exposure and adverse human health outcomes. Drawing on participant observation, interviews, and archival research, she traces the production of scientific knowledge and ignorance pertaining to the human health effects of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Her research aims to strengthen regulatory frameworks to more effectively characterize and prevent adverse environmental health effects. Lauren’s second area of research uses critical race theory to examine how race structures environmental exposures which in turn shape legal, scientific, and regulatory recourse. Lauren has published articles in Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Sociology, the American Journal of Public Health, and Organization and Environment.
Prior to pursuing her Ph.D. she worked at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment in California from 2009-2013, and completed an M.A. in Sociology from Washington State University in 2008. She served on the board of directors at Alternatives for Community and Environment, a Roxbury-based environmental justice organization from 2013-2017. In 2016 she was a founding member of the Racial Equity Task Force for the American Sociological Association Section on Environmental Sociology.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Northeastern University, PhD
Current Position:
Environmental & Public Health
Environmental Justice
Environmental Policy & Law
Currently Working On:

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