Author page for Halina Brown

Halina Brown
Halina Szejnwald Brown is an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute and Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University. Brown’s research and teaching has evolved from cancer research, risk assessment of environmental pollutants, and environmental health policy to corporate environmental management, institutionalization of sustainability reporting, socio-technical transitions, and sustainable consumption. She was a chief toxicologist at Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and visiting professor at several European universities. She has served on numerous committees of the National Academy of Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the International Society for Risk Analysis.

Brown’s current research focuses on the interaction of technology, policy, and culture in a transition to sustainable and prosperous future. She co-founded the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI), the North American knowledge network of professionals working at the interface of material consumption, human fulfillment, and technological change. She has co-authored three books: Corporate Environmentalism in a Global Economy, Effective Environmental Regulation: Lessons from Poland’s Experience, and Innovations in Sustainable Consumption.

Halina Brown received a PhD in chemistry from New York University.

Tellus Publications (Selected)

What Would Jane Jacobs Say?

Halina Brown

Vishaan Chakrabarti’s recent book A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America makes a compelling case that future prosperity lies in cities. But his vision of the built environment, this review argues, leaves out an essential element: the people who inhabit it.

Genetic Engineering in Agriculture

Philip Vergragt, Halina Brown

This paper proposes a novel approach to including the public in evaluating the impacts of food and agricultural biotechnology modeled after the growing practice of sustainability reporting by companies. The most visible among those, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), when implemented properly, includes a wide range of stakeholders, including the financial institutions, companies, NGOs, and civil society, in an interactive multi-stakeholder discourse and collaboration. The reporting exercise would open the discussion about the R&D around new GMO products, and could mitigate potential adverse effects in an early stage (Constructive Technology Assessment). We specifically propose initiating a broadly based societal initiative aimed at developing of a new sectoral supplement of GRI Guidelines, specifically designed for the food and agricultural biotechnology sector.

Sustainable Mobility: From Technological Innovation to Societal Learning

Philip Vergragt, Halina Brown

This paper addresses a persistent and worsening societal dilemma worldwide: the ecological unsustainability of the automobile as the primary means for providing personal mobility. The solution to this problem will require input from all segments of society and must include technological innovation; changes in the physical infrastructure and land use; and social, cultural, and institutional changes. This paper argues for a fundamental rethinking of the entire system of personal mobility and lays out some of the necessary steps forward.

Originally published in Journal of Cleaner Production 15, no. 11-12 (2007): 1104-1115, available at