1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Lisa Messeri

Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society; Department of Engineering and Society

Ph.D., MIT, History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society 2011

I am an anthropologist and historian of science and technology. My research examines the role of place in scientific practice, focusing on how scientists and engineers create place through their daily practice. My first book, entitled Placing Outer Space (forthcoming with Duke University Press), is an ethnography of contemporary planetary scientists and how they refashion distant, alien formations of gas and rock as intimate, familiar places; how planets become worlds. This work allows us to reflect on our own understandings of Earth as a planet, place, and world.

I also write about and am interested in how grand visions of future technologies shape current practices, what it means to live on Earth in the age of the “Anthropocene,” and public engagement in science through citizen science portals and Kickstarter-like platforms.


anthropology and history of science, place and space, planetary science, knowledge cultures; North America

Affiliated Anthropologists & Faculty

Roberto Armengol
Postdoctoral College Fellow
Caren Freeman
International Student & Scholar Advisor; Director of Studies at Hereford Residential College
Adriana Greci Green
Curator of Indigenous Art of the Americas, Fralin Art Museum
Jerome Handler
Senior Scholar, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
Diane M. Hoffman
Associate Professor, Curry School of Education
Peter E. Hook
Professor Emeritus, College of Arts and Sciences
Michelle Kisliuk
Associate Professor, McIntire Department of Music
Catarina Krizancic
Coordinator for Independent Projects and Associate Director for Program Design, International Studies Office
Ekaterina V. Makarova
Lecturer, Department of Sociology
R. Lawrence Merkel
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatric Medicine
Lisa Messeri
Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society; Department of Engineering and Society
Vanessa L. Ochs
Director of Jewish Studies, Department of Religions Studies
M. Norman Oliver
Lisa Toccafondi Shutt
Director of Undergraduate Programs, Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies
Matthew Trevett-Smith
Assistant Director & Assistant Professor, Teaching Resource Center