Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Science Studies, Lancaster University

My research is at the intersection of the sociology of health and illness and the social studies of science. My current work centres on three areas:

1. Expectations, imaginaries and futures in contemporary biomedicine and biotechnology. In the last five years I have been working on what I call the 'genomic re-imagining of personalized medicine', exploring the fields of pharmacogenomics and personal genomics. In this work I have drawn on the sociology of expectations (Brown et al 2000) and the biomedical imaginary (Waldby 1996, 2000).

2. Changing forms of subjectivity and identity categories in the context of both innovative biomedical sciences and technologies and everyday healthcare practices. Previously I have worked on the use of racial/ethnic categories in genomics research. Currently, I am working with Kate Weiner (U of Sheffield) and Catherine Will (Sussex U) on practices of self-care and self-management.

3. Interplanetary visions and futures. This is a new area of interest for me, sparked by the establishment in 2011 of Mars One - a not-for-profit organization based in the Netherlands - which aims to begin the human settlement of Mars in the mid-2020s. I am currently conducting a small interview-based study with people who have put themselves forward as candidates for being the first Martians, investigating their reasons for doing so, their experiences of being a candidate, their understanding of the risks and opportunities involved, and how they imagine the development of human society on another planet.

I am also the co-editor with Adam Hedgcoe at Cardiff University of the journal New Genetics and Society, published by Taylor Francis.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Science Studies, Lancaster University

Education

  • 2002 
    Lancaster University, PhD Sociology