Skip to main content

MacKenzie, Donald 1950-

MacKENZIE, Donald 1950-

(Donald Angus MacKenzie)

PERSONAL: Born May 3, 1950, in Inverness, Scotland; son of Angus (a teacher) and Anne (a teacher; maiden name, Paterson) MacKenzie; married Caroline Bamford (a researcher); children: Alice, Iain Angus. Ethnicity: "White Scottish." Education: University of Edinburgh, B.Sc. (with first class honors), 1972, Ph. D., 1978. Politics: Labour.

ADDRESSES: Office—School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh, Adam Ferguson Bldg., Edinburgh EH8 9LL, Scotland.

CAREER: University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, lecturer, 1975–88, lecturer in Science Studies Unit, 1983–84, reader, 1988–92, professor of sociology, 1992–. Deakin University, Drapers' Company Visiting Lecturer, 1981; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visiting scholar, 1984; École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, research associate at Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, 1987; Harvard University, visiting professor, 1997–98; guest lecturer at many colleges and universities, including University of Bath, University of Leeds, University of Bielefeld, University of Utrecht, University of Toronto, University of California—Berkeley, Hampshire College, Stan ford University, Vassar College, Carnegie Mellon University, and Cornell University. British Economic and Social Research Council, member of Society and Politics Research Development Group, 1990–91.

MEMBER: Society for the History of Technology.

AWARDS, HONORS: Abbot Payson Usher Prize, Society for the History of Technology, 1986, for the article "Marx and the Machine"; U.S. Navy Prize in Naval History, 1989, for the article "The Shaping of Nuclear Weapon System Technology: U.S. Fleet Ballistic Missile Guidance and Navigation"; Life Members' Prize in Electrical History, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, 1992, for the article "The Influence of the Los Alamos and Livermore National Laboratories on the Development of Supercomputing"; shared Robert K. Merton Award, American Sociological Association, and Ludwik Fleck Prize, Society for Social Studies of Science, both 1993, both for Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance; grants from Social Science Research Council, Nuffield Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council, Science and Engineering Research Council of British Safety Critical Systems Research Programme, Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.


(With Cynthia Cockburn, John Holloway, and others) In and against the State, Pluto Press (London, England), 1980.

Statistics in Britain, 1865–1930: The Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge, Edinburgh University Press (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1981.

(Editor, with Judy Wajcman) The Social Shaping of Technology, Open University Press (Milton Keynes, England), 1985, 2nd edition, 1999.

Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1990.

Knowing Machines: Essays on Technical Change, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.

Contributor to books, including The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, edited by W.E. Bijker, T.P. Hughes, and T.J. Pinch, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1987; Information and Government, edited by R. Davidson and P. White, Edinburgh University Press (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1988; Soviet Military Policy, edited by S.M. Lynn-Jones, S.E. Miller, and S. Van Evera, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1989; Technological Change and Company Strategies: Economic and Sociological Perspectives, edited by R. Coombs, P. Saviotti, and V. Walsh, Academic Press (London, England), 1992; and Information and Communication Technologies: Visions and Realities, edited by William H. Dutton, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1996. Contributor of articles and reviews to academic journals, including Annals of Science, Capital and Class, New Left Review, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Technology and Culture, New Scientist, Social Studies of Science, Science and Public Policy, and Nature, and to newspapers.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Historical Sociology of Financial Markets.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"MacKenzie, Donald 1950-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"MacKenzie, Donald 1950-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . (January 21, 2019).

"MacKenzie, Donald 1950-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.