Ph.D., ​University of Cambridge, 2013Postdoctoral Fellow, ​Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, 2013MPhil, ​University of Cambridge, 2009A.B., ​University of Chicago, 2008

"I study how scientists, engineers, technicians, students, and community members work together to make knowledge about science and technology."

Caitlin Donahue Wylie, Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society

I study underrecognized work and workers in research communities. This topic includes technicians whose names and work are missing from publications, students who contribute broad knowledge and learning opportunities to research groups, and community members whose expertise about their homes enriches environmental research. This topic includes who works on research teams and what they do, how people learn to conduct research, and how workers define skill, expertise, and social status. I use qualitative social research methods, including interviews and participant observation. I've researched how science and society interact at the universities of Chicago and Cambridge, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and now at UVA.

Since 2010 I've taught undergraduates majoring in science and engineering about the social and ethical importance of research, design, and technology. In my courses, students gain new insights into their majors and future professions. They become more well-rounded and socially-aware engineers and scientists, with enormous potential to improve society by applying their expertise to social problems.


  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Fellowship, UVA Center for Teaching Excellence 2021-2022
  • Fellowship, UVA Faculty Seminar on the Teaching of Writing 2021
  • Research Award, University of Virginia 2020
  • Donchian-Casteen Teaching Fellowship, UVA Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life, UVA 2018
  • Pavilion Seminar Course Development Award, UVA 2018
  • Commitment to Students Award, Student Society of P.R.I., UVA 2018
  • SEAS Research Innovation Award, UVA 2017-2018
  • Raymond and Edith Williamson Studentship, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge 2009-2012
  • Clare Hall Bursary, Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge 2009-2012
  • Viola K. Bower Merit Scholarship, University of Chicago 2004-2008

Research Interests

  • Science, Technology and Society
  • Laboratory Studies
  • Engineering Education

In the News

Selected Publications

  • Preparing Dinosaurs: The Work Behind the Scenes. The MIT Press. ABS Wylie, C. D. (August 2021).
  • The epistemic importance of novices: How undergraduate students contribute to engineering laboratory communities. Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook, 31, 145-162. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2021).
  • Who should do data ethics? Patterns, 1 (1). ABS Wylie, C.D. (2020).
  • Glass-boxing science: Laboratory work on display in museums. Science, Technology, and Human Values, 45(4), 618-635. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2020).
  • Socialization through stories of disaster in engineering laboratories. Social Studies of Science, 49 (6), 817-838. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2019).
  • Beyond technological literacy: Open data as active democratic engagement? Digital Culture and Society, 4 (2), 153-177. ABS Wylie, C.D., Neeley, K.A., and S.M. Ferguson. (2019).
  • Art for institutional change: Legitimizing women in STEM through visibility. The ADVANCE Journal, 1 (1). ABS Fraser, G., Uffman, C., Wylie, C.D., and D. Weller. (2019).
  • Students as laboratory labor. Post for Platypus, the blog of the American Anthropological Association’s Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing (CASTAC). ABS Wylie, C.D. (2019).
  • What “Consul the Educated Monkey” can teach us about early twentieth-century mathematics, learning, and vaudeville. In The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge University Press, edited by J.F.K. Nall, L. Taub, and F. Willmoth. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2019).
  • Twenty Questions About Design Behavior for Sustainability. Report of the International Expert Panel on Behavioral Science for Design. Nature Sustainability. ABS Co-author. (2019).
  • Overcoming the underdetermination of specimens. Biology & Philosophy, 34:24. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2019).
  • The plurality of assumptions about fossils and time. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 41:21. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2019).
  • Graduate/undergraduate partnerships (GradUP): How graduate and undergraduate students learn research skills together. American Society for Engineering Education Conference Proceedings. ABS Wylie, C.D., Kim, F., Linville, I., and A. Campo. (2019).
  • In search of integration: Mapping conceptual efforts to apply STS to engineering education. American Society for Engineering Education Conference Proceedings. ABS Neeley, K.A., Wylie, C.D., and B. Seabrook. (2019).
  • "I just love research": Beliefs about what makes researchers successful. Social Epistemology, 32(4), 262-271. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2018).
  • Trust in technicians in paleontology laboratories. Science, Technology, and Human Values, 43(2), 324-348. ABS Wylie, C. D. (2018).
  • Learning in Laboratories: How Undergraduates Participate in Engineering Research. American Society for Engineering Education Conference Proceedings. ABS Wylie, C. D., and M. E. Gorman. (2018).
  • Dimensions of Diversity in Engineering: What We Can Learn from STS. American Society for Engineering Education Conference Proceedings. ABS Odumosu, T.B., Ferguson, S., Foley, R., Neeley, K.A., Wylie, C.D., Ku, T., and R.W. Berne. (2018).
  • The whole as the sum of more than the parts: Developing qualitative assessment tools to track the contribution of the humanities and social sciences to an engineering curriculum. American Society for Engineering Education Conference Proceedings. ABS Wylie, C. D., Neeley, K. A., and T. B. Odumosu (2017).
  • Invisibility as a mechanism of social ordering: defining groups among laboratory workers. In J. Bangham and J. Kaplan (Eds.), Invisibility and Labour in the Human Sciences. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Preprint 484 ABS Wylie, C. D. (2016).
  • Learning out loud (LOL): How comics can develop the communication and critical thinking abilities of engineering students. American Society of Engineering Education Conference Proceedings. ABS Wylie, C. D., and K. A. Neeley (2016).
  • “The artist’s piece is already in the stone”: Constructing creativity in paleontology laboratories. Social Studies of Science, 45 (1), 31-55. ABS Wylie, C. D. (2015).
  • Teaching nature study on the blackboard in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century England. Archives of Natural History, 39 (1), 59-76. ABS Wylie, C. D. (2012).
  • Teaching manuals and the blackboard: Accessing historical classroom practices. History of Education, 41 (2), 257-272. ABS Wylie, C. D. (2012).
  • Setting a standard for a “silent” disease: Defining osteoporosis in the 1980s and 1990s. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 41, 376-385. ABS Wylie, C. D. (2010).
  • Preparation in action: Paleontological skill and the role of the fossil preparator. In M. A. Brown, J. F. Kane, and W. G. Parker (Eds.), Methods in Fossil Preparation: Proceedings of the First Annual Fossil Preparation and Collections ABS Wylie, C. D. (2009).
  • Invisibility as a mechanism of social ordering: How scientists and technicians divide power. In Invisible Labour: Power and Politics in Twentieth Century Science, Rowman & Littlefield, edited by J. Bangham, J. Kaplan, and X.S. Chacko. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2022).
  • Socialization, tacit knowledge, and conceptions of “experience” among engineering faculty and students. Engineering Studies, 14 (1), 17-33. ABS Wylie, C.D. and S.J. Kim . (2022).
  • Undergraduate research in engineering. In The Cambridge Handbook of Undergraduate Research, Cambridge Univ. Press, edited by H. Mieg, E. Ambos, A. Brew, D. Galli, & J. Lehmann, pp. 222-229. ABS Wylie, C.D. (2022).

Courses Taught

  • STS 2500: Laboratory life: social research methods for studying science and engineering
  • STS 4500: STS and engineering practice
  • STS 4600: The engineer, ethics, and professional responsibility
  • PAVS 4500: What is Knowledge?
  • STS 2500: Ethical Analytics
  • SDS 6002: Ethics of Big Data

Featured Grants & Projects