Professor Andrew Pickering
PhD, physics, London; PhD, science studies, Edinburgh
Telephone: 01392 723279
Andrew Pickering is internationally known as a leader in the field of science and technology studies. He is the author of 'Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics,' 'The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency and Science' and 'Kybernetik und Neue Ontologien,' and he is the editor of several collections of research essays, including 'Science as Practice and Culture' and (with Keith Guzik) 'The Mangle in Practice: Science, Society and Becoming.' He has written on topics as diverse as post-World War II particle physics; mathematics, science and industry in the 19th-century; and science, technology and warfare in and since WWII. His most recent work has focussed on the history of cybernetics in Britain, and his latest book, 'The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future' was published in 2010. The book analyses cybernetics as a distinctive form of life spanning brain science, psychiatry, robotics, the theory of complex systems, management, politics, the arts, education, spirituality and the 1960s counterculture, and argues that cybernetics offers a promising alternative to currently hegemonic cultural formations. His current research focusses on contemporary artworks that thematise the agency of matter and the construction of the human self.
Pickering has held fellowships at MIT, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Princeton University, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and, most recently, Institutes for Advanced Study at the Universities of Durham and Konstanz. With PhDs in physics (London) and science studies (Edinburgh) he moved from Britain to the United States in 1984, and was for many years professor of sociology and director of an interdisciplinary STS graduate programme at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, before moving to the University of Exeter in 2007.