Dr Tess Bird

tess bird


Research Affiliate

Tess Bird is a medical anthropologist and interdisciplinary social science researcher who studies human negotiation of uncertainty under transition and change, health and wellbeing in the home, food cultures and nutrition, and writing pedagogies and practice. Her current anthropological work draws on ethnographic research with a community of households in Providence County, Rhode Island from 2015-2016 and a recent study on uncertainty and wellbeing in households practicing social distancing during the covid-19 pandemic. Her interdisciplinary study of uncertainty ranges from resilience and sustainability during environmental change to corporate misconduct in scientific practice, where the purposeful production of uncertainty can have long term consequences for public health. Tess collaborates with Professor Stanley Ulijaszek on several projects related to nutritional anthropology, including hosting a podcast series, Around the Table: Food Stories from Science to Everyday Life. She is also an affiliate of the Oxford Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity.

Tess received her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2018 and served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Writing for the Social Sciences at Wesleyan University from 2018-2020. She has also worked as a medical-legal researcher in occupational and consumer health and is Managing Editor and a founding member of the Journal of Scientific Practice and Integrity (JoSPI.org). In addition to her academic work, she consults on academic and popular press writing practice and uncertainty management.

Website: www.tessbird.com

Selected Publications

Bird T. (2019) The Creativity of Everyday Uncertainty: Improvisation, material security, and wellbeing in urban households in the Northeastern United States. Journal of Organisational Ethnography, 9(1):1-16.

Bird T and Egilman D. (2019) A Letter from the Editors: An Introduction to the Journal of Scientific Practice and Integrity. The Journal of Scientific Practice and Integrity, 1(1).

Tran T, Steffen J, Clancy K, Bird T, and Egilman D. (2019) Talc, Asbestos, and Epidemiology: Corporate Influence and Scientific Incognizance. Epidemiology

Egilman D, Bird T, Lee C (2014) Dust Diseases and the Legacy of Corporate Manipulation of Science and Law. International Journal of Occupational & Environmental Health, 20(2).

Egilman D, Bird T, Lee C (2013) MetLife and its corporate allies: dust diseases and the manipulation of science. International Journal of Occupational & Environmental Health, 19(4).