Donald MacKenzie

Donald MacKenzie

University of Edinburgh

Donald MacKenzie holds a chair in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, where he has taught since 1975.

After a first degree in Applied Mathematics (University of Edinburgh, 1972) he moved to graduate work in the history and sociology of science, where his thesis became his first book Statistics in Britain, 1865-1930: The Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1981).

He then continued work in the sociology of technology, producing his second book, Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1990), which won the Ludwik Fleck Prize of the Society for Social Studies of Science in 1993 and co-won the Robert K. Merton Award of the American Sociological Association, also in 1993.

After further work on technology - Knowing Machines: Essays on Technical Change (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996) and Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001) - he began work on financial markets, leading to his book An Engine, not a Camera: How Financial Models shape Markets (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006), which won the International Political Economy Group Book Prize of the British International Studies Association in 2007 and the Viviana A. Zelizer Distinguished Scholarship Award of the American Sociological Association in 2008.

His most recent book is Arjaliès, D.-L., P. Grant, I. Hardie, D. MacKenzie, and E. Svetlova Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

His articles and book chapters have been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Green, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Polish. In 2001, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and in 2004 Fellow of the British Academy. In 2005, the Society for Social Studies of Science awarded him its highest honour, the Bernal (lifetime achievement) Prize.