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Professor Michael Lynch awarded J.D. Bernal Prize

By: Linda B. Glaser,  A&S Communications
Wed, 05/18/2016

Michael Lynch ‘70, professor of science & technology studies, has been awarded the 2016 J. D. Bernal Prize by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) for his “long-term and highly influential contribution to Science and Technology Studies and to the intellectual life of 4S.”

“Mike is one of the most influential scholars worldwide in science and technology studies,” says Bruce Lewenstein, chair of science & technology studies and professor of communication. He notes that while Lynch’s work in scientific visualization and in the relations of science and law is probably best known, equally important has been his long service as collaborating editor and his 10 years as editor of the major journal in the field, “Social Studies of Science.” Lewenstein says Lynch “was known for long, detailed critiques of submitted manuscripts and careful shepherding of them into published form, thus playing a mentoring role throughout the field. Here on campus, he’s long been a highly valued teacher at both undergraduate and graduate levels.”

Lynch studies discourse, visual representation, and practical action in research laboratories, clinical settings, and legal tribunals. He is Co-Director of the Cornell Law and Society Program.

His book, “Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action,” received the 1995 Robert K. Merton Professional award from the Science, Knowledge and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.  His most recent book, “Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting” (with Simon Cole, Ruth McNally & Kathleen Jordan), which examines the interplay between law and science in criminal cases involving DNA evidence, received the 2011 Distinguished Publication Award from the Ethnomethodology/Conversation Analysis section of the American Sociological Association.

The J.D. Bernal Prize is awarded annually to an individual judged to have made a distinguished contribution to the field. It was named for J.D. Bernal, father of the late Cornell professor Martin Bernal.

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