Alondra Nelson is an acclaimed sociologist, author, and researcher who explores questions of science, technology, and social inequality. She is currently President of the Social Science Research Council, and the Harold F. Linder Chair of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, as well as Visiting Lecturer with the Rank of Professor at Princeton University.
Nelson has published two books, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (2011) and The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (2016). She has co-edited two volumes, Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (2001) and Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (2012). She is currently preparing a new book on the centrality of science to the practice of governance, in which she explores the Obama administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Nelson holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. She has held faculty positions at Yale University and Columbia University, and was the inaugural Dean of Social Science at Columbia. She has been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
Nelson is presently Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology. She is an elected Fellow of the Hastings Center, an elected Member of the Sociological Research Association, and an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Nelson is a member of the advisory board of the Obama Presidency Oral History Project, and she serves on the boards of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Data & Society, and The Teagle Foundation. Nelson is also a director of the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a Harlem-based youth development organization.