Tal Arbel

Ph.D. Candidate in History of Science

Harvard University

Tal Arbel is a Ph.D. Candidate in History of Science at Harvard University. She graduated from Tel Aviv University in 2007 with an MA in History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas. From 2009-2012 she served on Harvard's Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, teaching modern social theory. During AY 2012-13, she was a Visiting Scholar in History at Columbia University. Specialized in the twentieth century history of the social and behavioral sciences, her doctoral dissertation examines the rise to prominence of interdisciplinary institutes for applied social research in postwar American academia, and the subsequent migration of this scientific culture to the postcolonial areas. A particular emphasis is placed on the troubled localization of survey and other psycho-social probing methods in 1950s nation-building projects, such as military development and immigrant assimilation, as well as on the newly global career of the social scientific expert. Before coming to Harvard, she worked as a media critic for The Seventh Eye Journal and was a regular contributor to Ha'aretz Books.