Advisory Board

Professor Andrew Pickering

The paper Producing Another World said

I want to address the very broad and broadly political question of what sort of culture we want to assemble, which entails, of course, asking what sort of culture we have now and what sorts of alternative one might imagine. My way into this problematic begins in science and technology studies.
STS has been a very fertile field over the past couple of decades, most radically perhaps in conjuring up new ontological visions, new sorts of pictures of what the world is like, what sorts of things there are in it and how they relate to one another. The theorists of the actor-network, Bruno Latour, Michel Callon, et al, led the way, with their image of a squirming morass of human and nonhuman hybrids morphing between the micro and the macro (Callon and Latour 1981). But sooner or later, the question had to come up: so what? Surely something should follow from these drastic ontological reconceptualizations. Having understood the world differently, something should follow for how we conduct our affairs in it.

Andrew Pickering, Ph.D. (physics), Ph.D. (science studies) was the author of this paper. For many years Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, since 2007 he has been Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Exeter, England.
Andy’s research has ranged over fields as diverse as the recent history of particle physics; 19th-century mathematics, organic chemistry and the dye industry; and relationships between science, technology, warfare and production in and since World War II. He has been one of the leaders in the turn towards studying practice in science & technology studies, and in developing the theoretical implications of this approach in the social sciences more generally. He has recently finished a book on the postwar history of cybernetics as a singular interdisciplinary formation extending into science, technology, management, politics, philosophy, the arts, and religion.
Amongst various honors, he has been an Exxon Fellow in the STS Program at MIT, a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, a Shelby Cullom Davis Fellow in the History Department, Princeton University, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Senior Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, MIT, and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and is a regular visitor at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin.
Andy’s books include The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science, Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics, and Kybernetik und Neue Ontologien [Cybernetics and New Ontologies]. He also edited Science as Practice and Culture with Keith Guzik and a forthcoming volume on The Mangle in Practice: Science, Society and Becoming. His new book is called Sketches of Another Future: Cybernetics in Britain, 1940–2000. Read the full list of his publications!
Andy earned a B.A. in Physics (First Class Hons) from Oxford University in 1970, a Ph.D. in Theoretical High-Energy Physics from London University, University College in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Science Studies with the thesis “The History of Particle Physics: A Sociological Analysis” from Edinburgh University in 1984.