Cornell University
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Steven Jackson

Department Chair; Associate Professor

Areas of Interest

Information technology policy; scientific cyberinfrastructure and collaboration; simulation and science policy; sociocultural analysis of information and information technology; science and technology studies


Steven Jackson is a faculty member in the Department of Information Science and Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University, with additional graduate field appointments in Communication and Public Affairs. He is currently Chair of the Department of Information Science. 

Dr. Jackson teaches and conducts research in the areas of scientific collaboration, technology policy, democratic governance, and global development. More specifically, he studies how people organize, fight, and work together around collective projects of all sorts in which technology plays a central role. He also studies how infrastructure – social and material forms foundational to other kinds of human action – gets built, stabilized, and sometimes undone. This brings him regularly into worlds of policy (especially technology, research, and development policy), organizational or institutional analysis, and occasionally into design (mostly as analyst and critic). He spends much of his time doing ethnographic and sometimes historiographic research, where he studies how shifting policies, emerging technologies, and cultural innovation meet complex and historically-layered fields of practice. He thinks a lot about governance – how order is produced and maintained in complex sociotechnical systems; time – how we experience, organize, design, and work around the temporal flows and patterns that shape and define individual and collective activity in the world; and breakdown, maintenance and repair – as sites of innovation, power, and ethics in complex sociotechnical systems.  At the broadest level, he studies how things change and how they stay the same, in a world that is furiously doing both.


Selected publications (for a more complete list please see Steve Jackson's home page):

Steven J. Jackson, “Rethinking Repair,” in Media Meets Technology, eds. Pablo Boczkowski, Kirsten Foot, and Tarleton Gillespie (MIT Press: forthcoming, 2013).

Steven J. Jackson, David Ribes, Ayse Buyuktur, and Geoffrey C. Bowker, “Collaborative Rhythm: Temporal Dissonance and Alignment in Distributed Scientific Work,” in Proceedings of the 2011 Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Conference, Hangzhou, China, March 20—23, 2011.

Steven J. Jackson, Alex Pompe and Gabriel Krieshok, “Repair Worlds: Maintenance, Repair, and ICT for Development in Rural Namibia,” in Proceedings of the 2012 Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Conference, Seattle, Washington, Feb 11-15, 2012.

Steven J. Jackson and Andrew Gordon, “Building Community Broadband: Barriers and Opportunities for Community-Based Organizations in the Federal BTOP and BIP Broadband Development Programs,” in Proceedings of the 2011 American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, Oct 9-12, 2011.

Steven J. Jackson and Alok Vimawala, “Tightening the Net: Intellectual Property and Peer-to-Peer Practice in Higher Education Networks,” First Monday, November 2011.

Steven J. Jackson, Paul N. Edwards, Geoffrey C. Bowker, and Cory Knobel, “Understanding Infrastructure: History, Heuristics, and Cyberinfrastructure Policy,” in B. Kahin and S.J. Jackson, eds. “Special Issue: Designing Cyberinfrastructure for Collaboration and Innovation,” First Monday 12:6 (June 2007).

Steven J. Jackson, “Ex-Communication: Competition and Collusion in the U.S. Prison Telephone Industry,” Critical Studies in Media Communication 22:4 (October, 2005).