Michael McGovern

Resident Fellow

Mikey McGovern is a historian of science, race, law, and technology focused on the history of data: why and how we measure what we do. His current book project tells the story of how civil rights lawyers embraced statistical proof of discrimination and the impact of their efforts on criminal justice data, employee evaluation, and legal doctrine in the modern United States. By providing a historical account of the opportunities and hazards of quantitative frameworks for racial justice, Mikey seeks to inform discussions about discrimination in our current era of big data and machine learning. His work has been supported by the Princeton Mellon Initiative, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, the American Society for Legal History, and the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. 

 Before coming to Yale, he completed a PhD and MA in History of Science and a certificate in African American Studies at Princeton University. Before that, he received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge in the history and philosophy of science. He has taught at Drew University and in Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative and spent time helping out the History of Science Society’s Graduate and Early Career Caucus. You can reach him at michael (dot) mcgovern (at) yale (dot) edu.