Kathryn Bouskill

Anthropologist, social scientist
Kathryn Bouskill's work explores how our health is shaped as much by our biology as it is by our behaviors and cultural contexts.

Why you should listen

Kathryn Bouskill began her research as a teenager at the lab bench before developing an interest in how our health is shaped as much by our biology as it is by our behaviors and social and cultural contexts. Today, she is an anthropologist at the RAND Corporation and associate director of the RAND Center for Global Risk and Security, where she applies ethnographic methods to understand the human dimensions of systems analysis and policy research.

For more than a decade, Bouskill has explored the relationship between culture, technology, policy and health. She has performed research in ten countries on five continents and believes that everyone has an important story to tell. Her latest research asks how the acceleration of daily life is shaping our wellbeing, how different cultures make sense of a faster world and what we as a society risk if we do not plan ahead for the promises -- and perils -- of emerging technologies. Her work is publicly available and covers a range of topics, from the future of global health security to data use for decision-making in health care.

A former Fulbright scholar in Austria, Bouskill continues her passion for using cultural diplomacy to build international cooperation. She also teaches doctoral fellows at the Pardee RAND Graduate School how to turn policy problems into empirical research projects and why it is critical to bring people into policy analysis. Bouskill has a BA in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in anthropology and an MPH in epidemiology from Emory University.

Kathryn Bouskill’s TED talk