The College of Arts Sciences Search

You are here

Trevor J Pinch

Goldwin Smith Professor of Science & Technology Studies


    Professor Trevor Pinch's main research centers on five areas: (1) the sociology of technology and how users engage with technology, (2) sound studies and music and in particular how sonic technologies and listening cultures develop, (3) understanding the role of materiality and agency in technology, (4) markets and the economy with specific attention to the study of selling, persuasion, and entrepreneurship. He also likes to carry out side projects, such as a recent study with Professor Richard Swedberg on Wittgenstein's 1949 visit to Cornell.  

    He has just finished editing the Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies and he is part of the Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences (ISS) team 2013-2016 researching "Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship"  

    Professor Pinch also broadcasts and webcasts a weekly radio show, "Webwatch," out of Paris, hosted by Radio France International  He is an advisor to the music technology start-up, "Thinkplay" and is also a performing musician with the Electric Golem and the Atomic Forces.


    • Science and Technology Studies

    Graduate Fields

    • Information Science
    • Music
    • Science and Technology Studies
    • Sociology


    Professor Trevor Pinch's main research centers on three areas (1) the sociology of technology and how users engage with technology, (2) sound studies and how sonic technologies and listening cultures develop and (3) general issues in the sociology of science and technology concerning social construction of technology and understanding the role of performances and agency. He also has specific collaborations with Asaf Darr at the University of Haifa concerning the sociology of selling and Richard Swedberg at Cornell University concerning the role of detail in sociological theory.

    Professor Pinch is currently studying the community of circuit benders. He is also completing a study of how on-line recommendation systems work (video). He has recently completed a study with Nokia on developing profiles of different smart phone users and their apps.



    • The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (edited with Karin Bijsterveld).  New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
    • Living in a Material World: Economic Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies (edited with Richard Swedberg), Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008.
    • Dr Golem: How To Think About Medicine (with Harry Collins), Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2006; Chinese translation: Shanghai Scientific and Technological Education Publication House, 2007;   Hungarian Translation: Scolar Kaido, 2008; Korean Translation, MINUMSA Publishing Group, 2010.
    • Sound Studies: New Technologies and Music (edited with Karin Bijsterveld) Special Issue of Social Studies of Science, 34, 635-817, 2004.
    • How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technologies (edited with Nelly Oudshoorn). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003.
    • Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer (with Frank Trocco). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.
    • "New Introduction to the Social Construction of Technological Systems," (with Wiebe Bijker).  Anniversary edition of The Social Construction of Technological Systems, edited by Wiebe Bijker, Thomas, P. Hughes and Trevor J. Pinch.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012.
    • "Wittgenstein"s Visit to Ithaca in 1949: On the Importance of Details," (with Richard Swedberg).  Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 2012, 1-28.
    • "Book Reviewing for How Socio-technical Systems Struggle to Make Less From More," in Managing Overflow in Affluent Societies, in Barbara Czarniawska and Orvar Löfgren (eds.).  New York and London: Routledge, 2012.
    • "The Invisible Technologies of Goffman's Sociology: From the Merry-Go-Round to the Internet," Technology and Culture, 51, 2010, 409-424.
    • "On Making Infrastructure Visible: Putting the Nonhumans to Rights," Cambridge Journal of Economics, 34, 2010, 77-89.
    • "Technostalgia: How Old Gear Lives on in New Music," (with David Reinecke) in Sound Souvenirs: Audio Technologies, Memory, and Cultural Practices, (Karin Bijsterveld and Jose van Dijck, eds.).  Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009, 152-166.
    • "Karen Barad, Quantum Mechanics, and the Paradox of Mutual Exclusivity," essay review of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, by Karen Barad, Social Studies of Science, 41, 2011, 431-441.