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Research Lecture: Beth Bechky

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Phelps 1410


Open to the Public


Beth Bechky, Jacob B. Melnick Term Professor of Management and Organizations, New York University

Title: The specter of testifying: Forensic scientists as advocates for the evidence

Abstract: This chapter describes forensic scientists’ feelings about testifying, which reflect the underlying tensions created as they navigated the worlds of science and criminal justice simultaneously. While forensic scientists defined themselves as a scientific community, their work was evaluated with respect to its application in the criminal justice community. They struggled when confronted with the different norms of science and law, which led to some resentment of attorneys and ambivalence about their participation in the courtroom. More significantly, their identification as scientists (and with science) made them highly sensitive to the technical accuracy of their analysis, which often came into conflict with legal principles and practices for evidence. Moreover, as partial members of the community of criminal justice, forensic scientists felt a sense of isolation and exclusion from the process of testifying. Tracing how these tensions manifested in the specter of testifying helps us to understand the evaluation of expertise and the influence of emotion in institutional processes.

Speaker's Biography: Beth Bechky joined New York University Stern School of Business in July 2013 as a Professor of Management and Organizations with a courtesy appointment in NYU's Department of Sociology. She teaches courses in managing high performance teams and negotiations. Professor Bechky is an ethnographer who studies interactions and dynamics at organizational and occupational boundaries. She is interested in how workers collaborate to solve problems, coordinate their activities, respond to surprises and innovate. She has published her work in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and American Journal of Sociology. Professor Bechky is the co-editor of Qualitative Organizational Research and was formerly a senior editor at Organization Science. She was on the council of the Organization, Occupations and Work division of the American Sociological Association from 2009-2012. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Professor Bechky held professorial positions at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Graduate School of Management at the University of California Davis.

To RSVP, visit https://goo.gl/forms/wWLGBXFk8RguKJfo2


The Technology Management Program Dean’s Research Lecture Series is the premier event that brings accomplished and inspiring professors to campus to explore topics related to the field of technology management and organizations. The lecture series provide a forum for the academic community to learn from and engage in conversations with outstanding scholars on cutting-edge research findings.

Each quarter will feature several preeminent speakers. Lectures will last approximately one hour starting at 12:00pm and take place in the TMP Executive Learning Center, Phelps Hall 1410. Lunch is provided for all guests who RSVP.

Attendees are required to register prior to the event for lunch and space reservation. For more information, contact Amanda Higham via email or by phone at 805-893-7577. 


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