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Kelly Joyce

Dr. Joyce's research and teaching are situated at the crossroads of medical sociology and science and technology studies. Her main research areas include:  (1) visualization in science and medicine; (2) medical knowledge and practice; and (3) aging, science, and technology.


In Magnetic Appeal: MRI and the Myth of Transparency, Prof. Joyce investigates popular perceptions of MRI and examine the technology's use in clinical medicine. Building on a co-production framework, she shows how ideas about mechanically produced pictures, fee-for-service insurance reimbursements, definitions of evidence, advertising, concerns about litigation, and decreasing clinical exam times all help make MRI the right tool for diagnostic work in the United States. Although clearly a valuable technology, social and economic factors contribute to its use in health care. Magnetic Appeal also contributes to discussions of medical work, documenting the radiologists and technologists' experiences of work in MRI units.

Magnetic Appeal won the Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award given by the Medical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association.

For reviews of Magnetic Appeal, see:

Sociology of Health and Illness
The Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie
Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers canadiens de sociologie
Body & Society
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Registered Nurse
Annals of Science


Technogenarians Cover Photo


Technogenarians, a volume Dr. Joyce co-edited with Dr. Meika Loe, takes up the intersections between aging, technology, science, and health. The volume showcases case studies that examine how old people use technology and science in daily life to maintain and create health. Chapters examine robots designed for and used by aging users, changing definitions of normal sexuality for older people, anti-aging medicine professionals and clients' values and practices, and gerontechnology development.



Prof. Joyce served as a Program Director for the Science, Technology, and Society program and the Ethics in Science and Engineering program at the National Science Foundation during 2009-2011. She received the Director's Award for Collaborative Integration for contributing to the education of ethical scientists, interagency collaboration, and extraordinary efforts in integrating ethical expertise with scientific knowledge in 2011.