Sainath Suryanarayanan

Sainath Suryanarayanan
University of Wisconsin–Madison | UW · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

33
Publications
9,610
Reads
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821
Citations
Citations since 2017
11 Research Items
514 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
Introduction
Sainath Suryanarayanan is a science & technology studies scholar and biologist. He is lead author of the book Vanishing Bees: Science, Politics and Honeybee Health (Rutgers University Press, 2017). Sainath’s research has appeared in a wide array of STS and biology journals, including Social Studies of Science; Science, Technology & Human Values; Current Biology; and Engaging Science Technology & Society.
Additional affiliations
September 2009 - August 2014
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • NSF Postdoctoral Research Associate
Description
  • Social and historical dimensions of ongoing declines in honey bee populations in the U.S. and elsewhere
Education
September 2007 - August 2009
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Field of study
  • Science and Technology Studies
January 2003 - August 2009
August 2000 - December 2002
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Field of study
  • Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Understanding the proximate mechanisms of caste development in eusocial taxa can reveal how social species evolved from solitary ancestors. In Polistes wasps, the current paradigm holds that differential amounts of nutrition during the larval stage cause the divergence of worker and gyne (potential queen) castes. But nutrition level alone cannot ex...
Article
Full-text available
This article utilizes the ongoing debates over the role of certain agricultural insecticides in causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)—the phenomenon of accelerated bee die-offs in the United States and elsewhere—as an opportunity to contribute to the emerging literature on the social production of ignorance. In our effort to understand the social...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we explore the politics of expertise in an ongoing controversy in the United States over the role of certain insecticides in colony collapse disorder - a phenomenon involving mass die-offs of honey bees. Numerous long-time commercial beekeepers contend that newer systemic agricultural insecticides are a crucial part of the cocktail...
Article
Full-text available
Based on multidisciplinary archives as well as fieldwork and interviews, this article focuses on the intertwined nature of movements of resistance by humans and plants struggling against genetically engineered soy monocultures in Argentina, which we provocatively conceptualize as interspecies resistance. Roundup Ready (RR)-soy is genetically engine...
Article
Full-text available
p>In this essay, I argue for an epistemology of complexity that is centered on intra-acting— always already interacting and becoming—bodies. I utilize analyses of the politics of knowledge concerning honey bee declines and gene-environment interaction research to outline a feminist-oriented epistemology in terms of multisensorial corporealities tha...
Article
Full-text available
Background The University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW-ICTR) hub supports multiple pilot award programs that engage cross-disciplinary Translational Teams. To support those teams, our Team Science group aims to offer a learning experience that is accessible, active, and actionable. We identified Collaboration P...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines an environmental conflict between Mayan communities and governmental authorities in Mexico’s Yucatan region. Mayan beekeepers attributed severe economic losses in honey production to the expansion of genetically engineered (GE) soy plantations. Beekeeping of Apis mellifera or “European” honey bees for the purposes of honey expor...
Article
Full-text available
The growing crisis of bee health has shone a spotlight on the problems facing pollinator populations in many parts of the world, the worrying implications for agriculture and ecosystems, and some of the risks of pesticides. Although this attention is important and can open a range of critical vistas, the threats to bees, other pollinators, and the...
Article
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This paper excavates the epistemological and ontological foundations of a rapidly emerging field called sociogenomics in relation to the development of social insects as models of social behavior. Its center-stage is "the genome," where social and environmental information and genetic variation interact to influence social behavior through dynamic...
Article
We explored collaboration between scientists and nonscientists through a deliberative process in which stakeholders interested in the health challenges of honey bees gathered on four occasions over two years to design, carry out, and analyze a set of field experiments on honey bee health. We found that issues of trust and authority were crucial mat...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between pesticides and pollinators, while attracting no shortage of attention from scientists, regulators, and the public, has proven resistant to scientific synthesis and fractious in matters of policy and public opinion. This is in part because the issue has been approached in a compartmentalized and intradisciplinary way, such t...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a transdisciplinary deliberative model that moves beyond traditional scientific collaborations to include nonscientists in designing complexity-oriented research. We use the case of declining honey bee health as an exemplar of complex real-world problems requiring cross-disciplinary intervention. Honey bees are important pollinators of t...
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Full-text available
The social and nutritional environments during early development have the potential to affect offspring traits, but the mechanisms and molecular underpinnings of these effects remain elusive. We used Polistes fuscatus paper wasps to dissect how maternally controlled factors (vibrational signals and nourishment) interact to induce different caste de...
Article
Full-text available
This essay analyzes and compares two cultures of time in various contexts of the Hispanic World (Spain, Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico), reflecting on films (Sleep Dealer, 2008 and Maquilópolis, 2006) as well as on real-world scenarios on the bases of participant ethnographies and interviews. Corporate time (O’Brien, 2007) is the time of a globalizing...
Book
Full-text available
In 2005, beekeepers in the United States began observing a mysterious and disturbing phenomenon: once-healthy colonies of bees were suddenly collapsing, leaving behind empty hives. As it explores the contours of this crisis, Vanishing Bees considers an equally urgent question: what happens when beekeepers, farmers, scientists, agrichemical corporat...
Article
http://seeingthewoods.org/2015/01/15/making-tracks-sai-suryanarayanan/
Article
Full-text available
This paper utilizes controversies over the role of a set of insecticides in mass honey bee die-offs in two different national contexts--France and the United States--in order to understand the science-state nexus in a comparative manner. On the one hand, the French government in 1999 and 2004 suspended the commercial use of the insecticidal product...
Article
Full-text available
Amidst ongoing declines in honey bee health, the contributory role of the newer systemic insecticides continues to be intensely debated. Scores of toxicological field experiments, which bee scientists and regulators in the United States have looked to for definitive causal evidence, indicate a lack of support. This paper analyzes the methodological...
Article
Full-text available
Specialization into reproductive and non-reproductive castes is one of the defining traits of eusocial insects. Knowledge of the proximal causes of caste differentiation is therefore central to achieving an understanding of the evolution of eusociality. Castes are an example of a polyphenism, multiple, discrete phenotypes arising from a single geno...
Article
Specialization into reproductive and non-reproductive castes is one of the defining traits of eusocial insects. Knowledge of the proximal causes of caste differentiation is therefore central to achieving an understanding of the evolution of eusociality. Castes are an example of a polyphenism, multiple, discrete phenotypes arising from a single geno...
Article
Bee researchers found a mysterious collapse of healthy hives and dubbed this new phenomenon as colony collapse disorder (CCD), and the controversy and uncertainty remain about what causes it. The traditional scientific research consistent with the EPA's Good Laboratory Practice policy has not established a definitive role for imidacloprid in causin...
Article
Full-text available
Social wasps in several genera exhibit a diverse array of conspicuous vibrational behavior patterns closely associated with larval feeding. Polistes, as the only genus in which these substrate-borne mechanical signals have been studied in some detail, is a useful system for understanding their functions. Most Polistes species examined perform anten...
Conference Paper
Antennal drumming (AD) is a mechanical signal produced by female Polistes in the context of feeding the larvae. Timing of onset of the behavior and changes in rate of performance during the colony cycle suggest that AD is a modulatory signal that biases larvae to develop into adults with worker-like traits. Stressors of various kinds, including mec...
Article
Parental care is an important component of social behavior in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Social wasps are a useful system for investigating the interplay between behaviors associated with the feeding of larvae by adults and their role in the evolution and maintenance of sociality. Females of the primitively eusocial wasp genus Polistes per...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure of mammalian cells to UV radiation was proposed to stimulate the transcription factor NF-kappa B by a unique mechanism. Typically, rapid and strong inducers of NF-kappa B, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lead to rapid phosphorylation and proteasomal degradation of its inhibitory prote...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
This book project seeks to excavate the more-than-human insectan genealogies of sociogenomics, an emerging interdisciplinary field that aims to understand and leverage sociality in terms of gene-environment interactions. I examine the onto-epistemological and biopolitical implications of sociogenomics for the status of the "individual" and "social".
Project
This project researches how rural cultures in Latin America transform in the advent of industrial agriculture. Our field work to date, in Argentina, Paraguay and Mexico, lets us observe that human relationships with non-human species, mainly but not exclusively in indigenous communities (Wichis of Northern Argentina, Mayas of Yucatan and Chiapas, as well as Popolocas of Puebla), shape resistance to the processes accompanying the accelerating industrialization of Latin American agricultures, and they also point towards alternative models of development that emerge in these regions. In other words, we observe that in various cultures humans, plants and animals do not only live in symbiosis, but they also resist together. Peoples’ collective resistance is accompanied by the biological resistance of mutant weeds and insects to genetically engineered monocrops, and we discover that the convergence of both these kinds of resistances is more than a word pun or metaphor. Our book is focused on three regions: (1) Argentina and Paraguay (2) Mexico and (3) Perú and Ecuador.
Project
The major goals of the project are- (1) to prompt consideration of revision of the norms and practices of experimental field research and policy to better incorporate the social and ecological complexity of the concerned phenomenon, (2) to examine the potential of deliberative strategies for improving the influence of place-based stakeholder perspectives in research and policy as an innovation that is transferable to other contexts with similar levels of complexity and uncertainty, and (3) to use this deliberative methodology in the design of an alternative paradigm for field research that aims to sheds light on the socio-ecological mix of factors leading to pollinator decline.