Elise Li Zheng

Ph.D. Candidate, School of History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology

My interdisciplinary research focuses on the relationship between technology and health, especially the social impact of personal technology on both the practices and perceptions of health and fitness. My research looks at health and technology in China, as well as the social and political context of technological creation and practices. I am currently working on my dissertation on self-tracking and health technologies, exploring societal links between data, design, individual’s life-worlds, and wider socioeconomic context.

I went to college at Peking University majoring in Sociology and Political Science, and later finished my masters at London School of Economics. Before continuing my Ph.D. study at Georgia Tech, I worked in the field of science communication as a content creator and volunteered in museums. I am now writing as a free-lancing contributor on issues related to science, technology and society, and my work has been published in various media outlets in Chinese. I receive AAAS EurekAlert! fellowship of International Reporters, and Kranzberg fellowship for technology studies at Georgia Tech.

When I am not doing research or writing, I enjoy vintage clothes, museums, urban streets, birds, national parks, and occasionally go rock climbing with friends.

Download My Resume


My research primarily focuses on the personal technologies and its impact on health. I look at various kinds of wearables and the trends of self-tracking/self-quantification.

Why self-tracking? It’s a critical point of how current technological “inscription” of value, ideology and socioeconomic factors influences our ways of life and our building of selfhood. The making, interpretation, and practice of health-related bodily data (such as step counts, diet, heart rates, etc) shape our way of seeing ourselves and how we relate ourselves to the environment. See here of my presentation on Georgia Tech STS Symposium. link

I also look at health perceptions, inequalities, and ethics that are built within artefacts and built-environments.

As my works mostly anchored in Science and Technology Studies (STS), I am open to inter/trans-disciplinary collaborations. I have presented/published in fields such as STS, health communication, sociology of health and illness, and critical data sciences.


I enjoy teaching and communicating with students. My mission is to inform and inspire more students (especially those of STEM majors) to think about the societal impact of science and technology, and to raise their awareness of social justice and human well-being in science and technology.

I teach various level from introductory courses to advanced seminars. I was trained in Center of Teaching and Learning in Georgia Tech and am working towards a teaching certificate.

Courses I have taught or lectured as a teaching assistant:

Download my Teaching Statement

Outreach & Engagement

I believe that the knowledge from the academia should be shared with the public with relevancy to the current and ongoing issues. I have years of experience writing for general audience about science and technology, and have delivered public speeches and lectures on issues such as pandemic, health and inequality, technology use, etc.

I write research and consulting reports for individuals or businesses on societal impact of technology, and how to make sensible communications of them. Contact me for a quote.

I also translated a few well-known books from English to Chinese, namely I Contain Multitude by Ed Yong, and Scientific Revolution by Steven Shapin.

See My Works for academic and non-academic engagements.

Contact Me

email: elise901 [at] gatech.edu
Twitter: @elise901

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