Natasha Dow Schüll is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her recent book, ADDICTION BY DESIGN: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (Princeton University Press 2012), draws on extended research among compulsive gamblers and the designers of the slot machines they play to explore the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction. Her next book, KEEPING TRACK (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, under contract), concerns the rise of digital self-tracking technologies and the new modes of introspection and self-governance they engender. Her documentary film, BUFFET: All You Can Eat Las Vegas, has screened multiple times on PBS and appeared in numerous film festivals.
Schüll graduated Summa Cum Laude from UC Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology in 1993 and returned to receive her PhD in 2003. She held postdoctoral positions as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy and as a fellow at NYU’s International Center for Advanced Studies. She joined MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society in 2007 where she was awarded tenure before moving to New York University in 2015. Schüll’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among other sources.
Schüll’s research and op-eds have been featured in such national media venues as 60 Minutes, The New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Forbes, Boston Globe, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Las Vegas Sun, 99% Invisible, NPR, WGBH, and WNYC.