Mira Vale

I am a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Michigan. My research spans economic sociology, medical sociology, and science and technology studies. I am interested in technological innovation and the transformation of expertise and professional values.

My dissertation examines the digital health industry, which adapts digital technology for health care and research. Despite concerns about privacy, the marketization of personal data, and algorithmic bias, digital data remains largely unregulated. My dissertation draws on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews across the United States to explore how digital health researchers tackle ethical questions in the absence of clear social or legal prescriptions. Amidst calls for an “ethics of AI,” my dissertation offers an empirical investigation into how powerful social actors are building the moral infrastructure for digital technology markets in healthcare and beyond. 

My work has been published in Social Science & Medicine, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, among other venues, and has received awards from multiple sections of the American Sociological Association. My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the American Sociological Association, and the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.