Lisa Messeri, Ph.D

Anthropologist of Science and Technology


Science and technology (S&T) indelibly shape how we conceptualize and interact with the world around us. Assessing the impact of S&T is not only a technical project, but one that requires social scientific insight. My anthropological research focuses on the norms, aspirations, and consequences of work done by expert communities as they forge new fields of knowledge and invention.

I am an associate professor of sociocultural anthropology at Yale University. I am also affiliated with Program in the History of Science and Medicine.

My first book, Placing Outer Space, considers how "planet" is not only a cosmic concept, but also a humanistic one. My new book, In the Land of the Unreal, seeks to understand how the recent resurgence of virtual reality hinged on a belief that the technology could repair rifts in reality.

My research has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Wired, The Atlantic, Slate, CNN, PBS, and more. I have spoken domestically and internationally at academic institutions, film festivals, and museums.

I earned my Ph.D. from MIT's program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society. I have an S.B. also from MIT in aerospace engineering.

​You can follow me on the website formally known as twitter @lmesseri. These days, i am more frequently posting under the same handle at Bluesky.