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Thomas Gieryn

Tom Gieryn is Rudy Professor of Sociology and Adjunct Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1979, and has been at IU ever since--with visiting professorships at Cornell University, Nankai University (Tianjin, China) and Twente University (Holland), and a year at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. Tom does research on the cultural authority of science and on the significance of place for human behavior and social change. His book Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility On the Line (University of Chicago Press, 1999) won the Robert K. Merton Book Award from the Section on Science, Knowledge and Technology of the American Sociological Association (the prize is named after Tom's mentor at Columbia). His new book-project is titled Truth Spots: Emplacing Legitimate Belief, and it includes a study of "oracular tourism" at Delphi in Greece. Tom regularly teaches introductory sociology and social theory, and in the remaining minutes tries to coax tiny seeds to germinate and eventually to bloom.