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Department of Science and Technology Studies

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University Science and Technology Studies

Michael Lynch




Car Engine


Viewing Eclipse Circa 1930


Nuclear Protest

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Michael E. Lynch

Department of Science & Technology Studies

phone: 607-255-3810
room: 312 Morrill Hall

On Leave Fall 2016


  • Ph.D., Social Sciences, University of California, Irvine
  • B.S., Rural Sociology, Cornell University

Graduate Fields:

  • Science & Technology Studies
  • Department of Sociology

Awards and Distinctions:

  • Editor, Social Studies of Science:  An International Review of Research in the Social Dimensions of Science and Technology (2002-2012).
  • President Elect and President, Society for Social Studies of Science (2006-09).


Research Interests

Professor Michael Lynch studies discourse, visual representation, and practical action in research laboratories, clinical settings, and legal tribunals. He received the 1995 Robert K. Merton Professional award from the Science, Knowledge and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association for his book Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action. His most recent book, Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting (with Simon Cole, Ruth McNally & Kathleen Jordan) examines the interplay between law and science in criminal cases involving DNA evidence.  The book received the 2011 Distinguished Publication Award from the Ethnomethodology/Conversation Analysis section of the American Sociological Association. He is Co-Director of the Cornell Law and Society Program.

Recent Courses Taught

  • Fall 2014 - (BSOC/STS 3011) Life Sciences and Society
    TR: 2:55-4:10, 4 Credits

  • Fall 2014 - (STS 7111) Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
    W: 12:20-2:15

  • Spring 2014 - (BSOC/STS 4071) Law, Science and Public Values
    TR: 2:55-4:10, 4 Credits

  • Spring 2014 - (STS 6251) Visualization and Discourse in Science
    W: 2:30-4:25, 4 Credits

Selected Publications

  • Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited (with Catelijne Coopmans, Janet Vertesi, and Steve Woolgar (eds.), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014 (in press).

  • Science and Technology Studies, Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences (edited, 4 Volume Set). London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

  • Ethnomethodology (with Wes Sharrock, eds).  Sage Benchmarks in Research Methods (4 Boxed Set).  London:  Sage Publications, 2010.

  • Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting (with Simon Cole, Ruth McNally and Kathleen Jordan).  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. 
  • Handbook of Science & Technology Studies (with Ed Hackett, Olga Amsterdamska and Judy Wacjman, eds).  Third Edition.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007

  • "Science, truth, and forensic cultures: The exceptional legal status of DNA evidence," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biology and Biomedical Science, Vol. 44, 1: 60-70, 2013.

  • "Test Objects and Other Epistemic Things: A History of a Nanoscale Object," (with Cyrus Mody).  British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 43, 3:423-58, 2010.