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Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Eden Medina has been named a 2020–2021 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, joining an impressive class whose work will span the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts.

As the 2020–2021 Rita E. Hauser Fellow, Medina will pursue an individual project in a community dedicated to exploration and inquiry. Her project, Bones and Lives: Making and Unmaking Truth after Dictatorship, investigates the history of Chile’s transition to democracy from the perspective of science and technology. It examines the practices used by the Chilean government to identify the remains of those disappeared and executed by the Pinochet dictatorship, focusing on the 48 cases where these identifications were later shown to be wrong. Her research studies how governments produce scientific, legal, and historical truths about human rights crimes, how these truths come undone, and the ramifications of this undoing for how people engage with the past.

“This fellowship class, taking shape amid a devastating pandemic, reflects our conviction that the cross-disciplinary exchange and deep exploration that Radcliffe enables are critically important for Harvard and for the wider world—especially in times like these, when we must confront unprecedented challenges,” said Radcliffe Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin RI ’17, who is also the Daniel P. S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School and a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

“Our fellows will advance human understanding in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Their creative work will change how we see the world. And they will pursue solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our society. Their endeavors will be immeasurably enhanced by the unique intellectual cross-fertilization that takes place at Radcliffe.”

The 2020–2021 fellowship year will be virtual, with the possibility of a residential component, pending decisions on Harvard-wide policies by University leaders and informed by epidemiological models of the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. The acceptance rate for the incoming class was 2.8 percent, from a pool of nearly 1,400 applicants. The group represents six countries and a wide range of disciplines.

Eden Medina is associate professor in the MIT Program for Science, Technology, and Society. In her Radcliffe project, she will advance the research and writing of her next book, an interdisciplinary work that connects the history of science and technologyto the ways that nations respond to traumatic events of the past.

“Being a Radcliffe Fellow will support my ability to delve deep into my own research and writing while also having a connection to the rich sociability of intellectual life that is important for generating ideas,” Medina said.  “I am excited to be part of the interdisciplinary community that the Radcliffe Institute is known for.”

The Radcliffe Institute has awarded more than 900 fellowships since its founding in 1999.

The full list of fellows is online here.


About the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is a unique space within Harvard—a school dedicated to creating and sharing transformative ideas across all disciplines. Each year, the Institute hosts leading scholars, scientists, and artists from around the world in its renowned residential fellowship program. Radcliffe fosters innovative research collaborations and offers hundreds of public lectures, exhibitions, performances, conferences, and other events annually. The Institute is home to the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library, the nation’s foremost archive on the history of women, gender, and sexuality. For more information about the people and programs of the Radcliffe Institute, visit