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Thomas Gieryn

Thomas F. Gieryn is Rudy Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington, where he is also Adjunct Professor of History & Philosophy of Science.  He began his professorial career at Indiana in 1978 after completing his PhD in Sociology at Columbia University, and has remained at the University ever since, serving as chair in the Department of Sociology (2005-08) and as Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs (2009 until his retirement in 2015, at which time he was awarded the Provost’s Medal for his 36 years of meritorious contributions to Indiana University Bloomington).  He has served as doctoral dissertation advisor for more than 20 PhD degrees at Indiana and elsewhere, and was presented with the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Indiana University in 1994.  The annual "Gieryn Lectures in Science and Technology Studies" were inaugurated at IU Bloomington in 2016.

Gieryn’s book Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility On the Line was published in 1999 by the University of Chicago Press.  The book won the Robert K. Merton Prize from the Section on Science, Knowledge and Technology of the American Sociological Association, and his concept of “boundary-work” has been cited more than 6300 times since its 1983 introduction in the American Sociological Review.  His second book, Truth-Spots:  How Places Make People Believe, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018.  His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  He has been invited to present his research more than 80 times at conferences and universities around the world.  He has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections.

Gieryn was a Resident Member at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in 1996-97, and elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and elected to the Sociological Research Association (both in 2001).  He has served as Collaborating Editor at Social Studies of Science since 1984, and on the advisory board for the exhibition “Science in American Life” at the Smithsonian Museum in 1990-94.  He is a Founding Member (1976) of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), and served on its Council (1982-4) and as Secretary-Treasurer (1985-88).  He has served as a Review Panelist for the STS program at the National Science Foundation, and has been a member of external review committees at Cornell University, University of California at San Diego, University of Pennsylvania, Louisiana State University, University of Southern California and Maastricht University.  He was appointed visiting professor at Cornell University in 1988-89 and at Nankai University (Tianjin, China) in 1993.