Shannon N. Conley


James Madison University
701 Carrier Drive - MSC 4102
Harrisonburg, VA
United States


Assistant Professor


Shannon N. Conley received her PhD in Political Science from Arizona State University in the spring of 2014, with a focus in public policy, political theory, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Much of her graduate and current work centers on the development and implementation of tools and approaches for socio-technical integration across disciplines. She spent 2009 embedded in reproductive genetics laboratories in Canada and the United Kingdom, as part of the NSF-funded Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR) program, developed and led by Dr. Erik Fisher. During this time, she worked closely with scientists in the laboratory context, utilizing protocols developed to analyze and enhance laboratory reflexivity, and stimulate reflection on how laboratory decision-making connects to broader social, ethical, and political considerations. As she immersed herself in the scientific communities, Conley participated in hands-on laboratory practices and simultaneously engaged her collaborators in reflection on the broader impacts of such practices. A suite of methodologies from ethnographic research, action-ethnographic research, and laboratory studies informed her approach.
In 2014, Conley was hired as a “Social Context of Science and Technology” assistant professor in the Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) program at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Conley is the chair of a faculty team within ISAT, comprised of social science, legal, and humanities scholars, that focuses on teaching “social context” (policy, governance, ethics, philosophy of science, and STS) content and habits of mind to interdisciplinary STEM students in the program. Her position at JMU enables her to continue refining the integrative skills and sensibilities she developed as a STIR researcher. Conley also serves as the coordinator and advisor for the STS minor at the university. She collaborates on teaching and research with colleagues from an astonishingly wide variety of disciplines, ranging from biotechnology, to engineering, to computer science and cognitive science. In addition to her research on socio-technical collaboration and responsible innovation, Conley also studies anticipatory governance and reproductive technologies, conducts research in pedagogy and STS, participates in the scholarly community of Studies of Experience and Expertise (SEE), and is a member of the Science and Democracy Network.