Brian Beaton

Assistant Professor 


  • Science, Technology & Society

Contact Information: 

About Brian Beaton

Dr. Brian Beaton is an Assistant Professor in the College of Liberal Arts. One of the first faculty members in Cal Poly’s new Science, Technology & Society (STS) Program, Beaton’s research and teaching concentrate on the recent history of technology, the changing nature of work, and on scientific and technical research cultures. Much of his current research specifically concentrates on IT (information technology) fields such as data science, cybersecurity, and robotics. Cross-appointed with the History Department, Beaton is also a subject matter expert in the “fourth industrial revolution” (4IR) and early digital culture.

Dr. Beaton did his graduate work at NYU and the University of Toronto, where he co-founded the Technoscience Research Unit with the STS scholar Michelle Murphy. Before coming to Cal Poly in 2015, Beaton was a professor in the School of Information Sciences (now the School of Computing and Information) at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the director of an endowed research unit dedicated to the study of interpersonal behavior and technology. In addition, Beaton is the past director of Cal Poly’s Center for Expressive Technologies (2015-2018), as well as a past consultant for the State of California in the areas of human-computer interaction (HCI), human information behavior (HBI), and data handling.


  • Ph.D., University of Toronto
  • M.A., New York University (NYU)

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Science, Technology & Society (STS)
  • Advanced Project-Based Learning in STS
  • Digital Culture
  • History of Network Technology 

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