is a sociologist with research interests in the sociology of science, public policy, race and ethnicity and deviance. He is a Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and professor of sociology and director of the Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge at New York University. He contributed to White-Washing Race: The Myth of a Color-blind Society.
He is the grandson of civil rights activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett. In 1970, he published "The Legislation of Morality," in which he showed how the moral indignation regarding addiction at the time of the Harrison Narcotic Law (1914) pointed fingers not at the middle- and upper-class users of drugs but at the lower classes of Americans.
- "Lessons from History: Why Race and Ethnicity Have Played A Major Role in Biomedical Research," in Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Fall 2006
- "Backdoor to Eugenics" Routledge, 1990
- "The Legislation of Morality" The Free Press, 1970