Richard Worthington’s teaching, scholarly work and political activism all focus on the intersection of science, democracy and social change. He is especially interested in how science and technology can be shaped by common citizens, rather than by corporations and the military, with the goal of developing policies and actions that will aid in the transition to an equitable, democratic and ecologically sustainable society.
Worthington is the author of Rethinking Globalization: Production, Politics, Actions (2000) and other works in science policy, environmental issues and politics in the Americas. Most recently, he was U.S. coordinator of World Wide Views on Global Warming, the first global citizen policy consultation in history, in which citizens in 38 countries deliberated on the policy questions later addressed at the 2009 United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen. Today, he is principal investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded project to study the process and outcomes of World Wide Views.
Through his classes, students have been involved throughout the greater Los Angeles area in hundreds of internships and community-based research projects in social and environmental justice. He also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Loka Institute, the mission of which is “making research, science and technology responsive to democratically-decided social and environmental concerns.”