Abby J. Kinchy

Professor, Science and Technology Studies

Abby Kinchy is a sociologist, working in the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies (STS). Her research examines the relationship between science and democracy, with two main objectives: 1) to illuminate how science shapes politics and policy making, and 2) to understand changing forms of public participation in the making of science and technology. Kinchy's research and teaching focus on topics relating to agriculture, ecological sustainability, and environmental justice. Most recently, Kinchy's research has focused on the politics of "citizen science"--public participation in scientific research. Her book on this topic, co-authored with Aya H. Kimura, is Science by the People: Participation, Power, and the Politics of Environmental Knowledge (Rutgers, 2019). In addition, her current NSF-funded project, Nuestros Suelos/Our Soil, explores how citizen science could help urban communities to identify heavy metal contamination in soil and to advocate for solutions. She previously led the NSF-funded Watershed Knowledge Mapping Project, which examined the practices and politics of environmental monitoring in the context of shale gas development, or "fracking." Kinchy's work extends beyond the politics of citizen science. She is the author of Seeds, Science, and Struggle: The Global Politics of Transgenic Crops (MIT, 2012). She is also a co-organizer of STS Underground, a research network that advances social science research on the technoscientific dimensions of mining, burial, and other forms of subterranean exploration.

Education

Ph.D., Sociology and Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison M.S., Sociology and Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin B.S., Science, Technology and Society, Vassar College

Research Focus
  • Sociology of science
  • Environmental politics
  • Citizen science
  • Social movements
Select Works
  • Seeds, Science, and Struggle: The Global Politics of Transgenic Crops. MIT Press, 2012.
  • Science by the People: Participation, Power, and the Politics of Environmental Knowledge. Rutgers University Press, 2019.