Stephen Hilgartner

Stephen Hilgartneris a professor in the Department of Science & Technology Studies. His research centers on the social dimensions and politics of contemporary and emerging science and technology. Much of his work has focused on struggles over the credibility of knowledge and over the authority of expertise. He has examined these themes in a number of situations in which scientific knowledge is implicated in contesting and maintaining social order, including studies of science advice, risk disputes, property formation, and public knowledge. He is the author or editor of several books, including most recently Reordering Life: Knowledge and Control in the Genomics Revolution (2017). Hilgartner’s book Science on Stage: Expert Advice as Public Drama—which examines how the authority of scientific advisory bodies is produced, contested, and maintained—won the Carson Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science in 2002. Much of Hilgartner’s work examines these questions in the areas of biology and medicine, especially in the area of genome research. He has also contributed to the literature on the construction of social problems, risk, and intellectual property. Recent publications include the Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society (2018) and Science & Democracy: Making Knowledge and Making Power in the Biosciences and Beyond (2015). He is currently doing an NSF-funded study on “Making Knowledge about Risk.” Hilgartner teaches a variety of courses that address the theme of contentious knowledge, most recently Science in the American Polity; Studying Emerging Technologies; and Risk and Society: Knowledge, Technology and Politics.




 306 Rockefeller Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853