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Knowledge, Science and Technology Research Theme

The Cardiff School of Social Sciences is a world leader in the social study of science, technology and knowledge. It is home to:

Cardiff’s international reputation in researching science, with a specially large group in the biomedical sciences, is based on its sustained track record of research and publication. Since 2001, the Cardiff School of Social Sciences has received over £ 17M  in research grants from funding agencies including the ESRC, the Wellcome Trust and The European Research Council. The quality of this research is epitomised by the ESRC’s decision to continue funding the Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen) until 2012 and a recent european research council grant to KES which runs until 2016.

Cesagen Logo

Research at Cesagen involves close collaboration with colleagues in the Cardiff School of Medicine, Lancaster University and the Wales Gene Park. Research supported by Cesagen includes a study of the development of psychiatric genomics, an ethnographic investigation of the UK stem cell bank, a study of the global circulation of stem cells and other human tissues, as well as SciScreen, an innovative collaboration with Chapter Arts Centre, to promote the engagement of society in the complex field of biomedical science and genetics.

KES Logo

The sociology of expertise is now emerging as a major them in the work of the Centre for the Study of Knowledge Expertise and Science (KES). Under the banner of Studies of Expertise and Experience (SEE) KES is now at the centre of an emerging network of researchers in investigating the classification and use of expertise, with the ALL@SEE website providing a focal point for this field. In addition, members of the KES have attracted research funding from the ESRC, European Science Foundation and British Academy and continue to make substantial empirical contributions to the social studies of science. Major research topics include the study of gravitational wave physics, the emerging politics of genetics (with Cesagen) and lay participation in policy debates (with the QUALITI node of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods).

The theme Knowledge, Science and Technology intersects to a significant degree with research taking place within the School which is concerned, in various ways, with the concept of risk. The Risk, Interaction and Organisation (RIO) group was established to promote positive exchanges between sometimes diverse strands of research, united by a shared interest in linkages between risk, (social) interaction, and organisations. This research addresses risk as both a measure of threat or opportunity, and as a technical discourse which has become a pervasive basis for standard-setting and regulation in organisational life. It includes work on practical reasoning about new and unfamiliar technologies; social care; criminology; futures; citizen engagement; the nature of professional practice, knowledge brokerage; health and safety; environmental sustainability, policy-making, and a number of aspects of medicine and health care.


Recent Publications

Adam, Barbara, (2008) Cultural Future Matters: An exploration in the spirit of Max Weber’s methodological writings, Time & Society 18(1): 7-25

Arribas-Ayllon, Michael , Srikant Sarangi  and Angus Clarke A, (2008) Managing self responsibility through other-oriented blame: Family accounts of genetic testing, Social Science and Medicine, 66(7): 1521-1532

Baker, Susan with Robin Morrison (2008) Environmental Spirituality: Grounding our Response to Climate Change, European Journal of Science and Theology, 4(2):7-22

Collins, Harry (2010) Gravity's Ghost: Scientific Discovery in the Twenty-First 21st Century, Chicago, University of Chicago [For more information visit Harry Collins’ Gravitational Wave Project website]

Collins, Harry and Evans, Robert (2007) Rethinking Expertise, Chicago Ill.: University of Chicago Press

Evans, Robert, I Kotchetkova and S Langer (2009) Just Around the Corner: Rhetorics of Progress and Promise in Genetic Research, Public Understanding of Science 18(1): 43-59.

Hedgecoe Adam (2008), Research ethics review and the Sociological research relationship, Sociology, 42(5): 857-870

Horlick-Jones, Tom (2009) Finding a way between nihilism and romanticism: some reflections on the practice and politics of the sociology of risk, Health, Risk & Society, 11(2): 91-98.

Stephens, Neil, Peter Glasner and Paul Atkinson (2008) The UK Stem Cell Bank as performative architecture, New Genetics and Society, 27(2): 87-98

Welsh, Ian and C Thorpe (2008) Beyond Primitivism: Towards a twenty-first century Anarchist Theory and Praxis for Science and Technology, Anarchist Studies, 16(1): 48-75


Theme Members

Members of staff working in the area of Knowledge, Science and Technology

Postgraduate Researchers

Postgraduate Researchers working in the area of Knowledge, Science and Technology

  • Mohab Abou-Elkawam
  • Richardo Childs
  • Alice Clayton
  • Rebecca Dimond
  • Tiago Duarte
  • Emily Harrop
  • Jackie Needs
  • Jessica Paddock
  • Luis Reyes Galindo
  • Catherine Sampson
  • Martin Weinel