Caitlin Wylie

Wylie, Caitlin D.

Primary Appointment

Engineering and Society


  • AB, , University of Chicago
  • Mphil, , University of Cambridge
  • PhD, , University of Cambridge
  • Postdoc, , Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Contact Information

PO BOX 400744
351 McCormick Road
Telephone: 434-924-6177
Fax: 434-924-4306

Research Disciplines

Engineering and Society

Research Interests

Science, Technology and Society Laboratory Studies Engineering Education

Research Description

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. I focus on the unwritten work and workers in research communities, such as technicians, whose names and work are missing from publications, and students and volunteers, whose contributions to laboratory work are often overlooked. This topic includes who works in laboratories 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.

Since 2010 I've taught undergraduates majoring in science and engineering about the history, philosophy, and social studies of science and engineering. These students gain new insights into their majors and future careers. They become more well-rounded and socially-aware researchers, with the potential to improve society by applying their work to social problems.

Selected Publications