Professor of Criminology, Law and Society
Ph.D., Cornell University
3385 Social Ecology II
Criminology, Law and Society
science, technology, law, and criminal justice
Simon A. Cole specializes in the historical and sociological study of the interaction between science, technology, law, and criminal justice. He is the author of Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Harvard University Press, 2001), which was awarded the 2003 Rachel Carson Prize by the Society for Social Studies of Science. Most recently, he is a co-author (with Michael Lynch, Ruth McNally & Kathleen Jordan) of Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting (University of Chicago Press, 2008). Dr. Cole has spoken widely on the subjects of fingerprinting, scientific evidence, and science and the law, and he has consulted and testified as an expert witness on the validity of fingerprint evidence. He has also written for many general interest publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New Scientist, and Lingua Franca. His current interests are the sociology of forensic science and the development of criminal identification databases and biometric technologies. He teaches courses on Forensic Science and Society, Surveillance and Society, Miscarriages of Justice, The Death Penalty, Historical Criminology, and Science, Technology, and Law, and he is Co-Editor of the journal Theoretical Criminology. He is Director of The Newkirk Center for Science & Society, and he is affiliated with the Department of History.