Associate professor of science and technology at Princeton University

Janet A. Vertesi

Dubbed “Margaret Mead among the Starfleet” in the Times Literary Supplement, Data & Society advisor Janet Vertesi is associate professor of sociology at Princeton University. She has spent two decades studying NASA’s robotic spacecraft teams as a sociologist of science and technology, examining issues such as data sharing, remote collaboration, and work with AI-enabled robots. She is also a conscientious objector to the personal data economy and resists the harms of privacy-invasive systems through her well-known “opt out” projects: technical and evasive maneuvers to escape capture and envision a different technological future. 

Vertesi is solo author of the books Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars and Shaping Science: Organizations, Decisions, and Culture on NASA’s Teams (University of Chicago Press), editor of the groundbreaking collection digitalSTS (Princeton Press) and the MIT Press Infrastructures series, and has published papers in top-ranked venues in the sociology of science and technology and human-computer interaction. She is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, and serves on the advisory boards of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, Microsoft Research, Yahoo!, and NASA. 

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