I’m R. Stuart Geiger, an ethnographer and post-doctoral scholar at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at UC-Berkeley. I study the infrastructures and institutions that support the production of knowledge. Most of my previous work has been on Wikipedia, where I’ve spent almost a decade researching the community of volunteer editors who produce and maintain an open encyclopedia. I’ve also researched distributed scientific research networks and projects, including the Long-Term Ecological Research Network and the Open Science Grid. In Wikipedia and scientific research, I’ve studied topics including newcomer socialization, community governance, specialization and professionalization, quality control and verification, cooperation and conflict, the roles of support staff and technicians, and diversity and inclusion. As these communities are made possible through software systems, I’m very interested in how the design of software tools and systems intersect with all of these issues.
I received my Ph.D from the UC-Berkeley School of Information, my M.A. from the Communication, Culture, and Technology program at Georgetown University, and my B.A. in Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m a disciplinary nomad, integrating disciplines like computer science, information science, social psychology, and organization/management science with fields like philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and history of science and technology. In terms of academic specialties, I spend a lot of my time in the fields of Science and Technology Studies, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, and new media / Internet studies. Methodologically, while I am trained as a qualitative ethnographer, I also rely on other qualitative, quantitative, and experimental methods. I often use more statistical forms of analysis to contextualize and further support more qualitative approaches, frequently collaborating with people from other disciplines.