Harold F. Linder Professor

Alondra Nelson

School of Social Science
Sociology | anelson@ias.edu    
Social Science

An acclaimed sociologist, Alondra Nelson explores questions in science, technology, and social inequality. Nelson's work offers a critical and innovative approach to the social sciences that is conducive to fruitful dialogue with the many disciplines. Her major research contributions are situated at the intersection of racial formation and social citizenship, on the one hand, and emerging scientific and technological phenomena, on the other. She explores and connects these dimensions in a range of publications, including her two major books, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (2011) and The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (2016). She is currently at work on a book about science politics in the Obama administration. A member of the editorial boards of Social Studies of Science and Public Culture, her essays, reviews, and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Science, Le Nouvel Observateur, and on National Public Radio, The New Yorker Radio Hour, and PBS NewsHour, among other venues.

Dates at IAS
  • Social Science
New York University Ph.D., 2003
New York University M.Phil., 1999
University of California, San Diego B.A., 1994
Appointments: Obama Presidency Oral History Project, Advisory Board, 2019–; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Visiting Professor 2020; Co-Chair, Committee on Emerging Science, Technology, and Innovation, National Academy of Medicine 2019–; Committee on New and Emerging Forms of Data, Economic and Social Research Council, UK Research and Innovation 2019–; The Teagle Foundation, Board of Directors 2019–; Data and Society Research Institute, Board of Directors 2016–
Awards: Mirra Komarovsky Book Award 2013; Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award 2012; Poorvu Award for Distinguished Interdisciplinary Teaching, Yale University 2008
Fellowships: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin; Visiting Research Fellow, BIOS: Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society, London School of Economics
Lectures: Morison Prize Lecture, MIT; OII Bellwether Lecture, Oxford University; British Journal of Sociology Lecture, London School of Economics; Davis Lecture, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University; John P. McGovern Lecture, Yale University; Mossman Lecture, McGill University
Memberships: Ernest Burgess Fellow, American Academy of Political and Social Science; Elected Member, Sociological Research Association; Elected Fellow, The Hastings Center
Princeton University Visiting Professor 2019–
Social Science Research Council President 2017–
Columbia University 2009–2019 Dean of Social Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences 2014–17; Professor of Sociology 2013–19; Associate Professor of Sociology 2009–13
Yale University 2002–2009 Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Sociology 2003–09; Lecturer 2002–03
Bavarian American Academy, Munich 2008 Visiting Professor