Geoffrey C. Bowker

Geoffrey_ C_BowkerGeoffrey C. Bowker is Professor at the School of Information and Computer Science, University of California at Irvine, where he directs a laboratory for Values in the Design of Information Systems and Technology. Recent positions include Professor of and Senior Scholar in Cyberscholarship at the University of Pittsburgh iSchool and Executive Director of Center for Science, Technology and Society, Santa Clara. Together with Leigh Star he wrote Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences; his most recent book is Memory Practices in the Sciences.

Geoffrey C. Bowker researches on the use of web and other digital resources across a set of disciplines. He works with scholars to uncover ways in which new forms of knowledge are being (or could be) generated by creative use of  these digital resources.  For example: how did a complete database of classical Greek literature transform work in the classics; or how could intensive, long term monitoring of ecosystems feed into a new policy framework for sustainability?

Earning his PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia, in History and Philosophy of Science, Bowker followed up with an extended post doctoral position at the Ecole des Mines in Paris.

His work on information infrastructure involves looking at shifting classification systems in medicine, distributed collaborative work practices in environmental science, data sharing practices and biodiversity informatics. The central analytic question here is how scientists in the various sciences contributing to the subject of biodiversity communicate both with each other and with policy makers – and in particular how do the data structures and practices in use affect this communication.

Geoffrey C. Bowker is on the editorial board of The Information Society, Information and Organization, Metascience and Social Studies of Science.