Janet Vertesi

Associate Professor of Sociology

Princeton University

Janet Vertesi is Associate Professor of Sociology at Princeton University.  Her area of specialization is the sociology of science, knowledge, and technology.  She has conducted major ethnographic studies of NASA's robotic spacecraft teams. Her books, Seeing like a Rover: Images and Interaction on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (Chicago, 2015) and Shaping Science: Organizations, Decisions, and Culture on NASA's Teams (Chicago, 2020) draw on her ethnographic studies of missions to Mars, Saturn, and the outer planets and examine how organizations matter to scientific discovery.

Vertesi is also a leader in digital sociology, whether studying computational systems in social life, shifting research methods online, or applying social insights to the building of technologies.  She has been awarded top prizes for her work from the American Sociological Association and the Society for Social Studies of Science.  In 2019, The Sloan Foundation awarded her a grant to “investigate an as-yet undertheorized link between outsourcing and automation.”