Lucy Suchman

Faculty Advisor

Lucy Suchman is Professor Emerita of the Anthropology of Science and Technology at Lancaster University in the UK. Before taking up that post she was a Principal Scientist at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where she spent twenty years as a researcher. Her current research extends her longstanding critical engagement with the fields of artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction to the domain of contemporary militarism. She is concerned with the question of whose bodies are incorporated into military systems, how and with what consequences for social justice and the possibility for a less violent world.

She was a founding member of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and served on its Board of Directors from 1982-1990 and is a current member of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC). In 2002 she received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Sciences, in 2010 the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award, and in 2014 the Society for Social Studies of Science Bernal Prize for Contributions to the Field. She was President of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) from 2016-17.

Lucy has written for both social and information sciences audiences and is the author of Human-Machine Reconfigurations (2007) and Plans and Situated Actions: the problem of human-machine communication (1987), both published by Cambridge University Press. Recent publications include Suchman, L. (2023) The Uncontroversial ‘Thingness’ of AI. Big Data & Society,10(2); Suchman, L. (2023). Imaginaries of omniscience: Automating intelligence in the US Department of Defense. Social Studies of Science, 53(5), 761–786; and Suchman, L. (2020). Algorithmic Warfare and the Reinvention of Accuracy. Critical Studies on Security, 8(2), 175-187.

Contributed to

(1) Publications