Rethinking the Social Production, Locus and Impact of Bioscience

Academic lead Professor Andrew Webster – (York)

Awarded as part of the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre

This White Rose ESRC studentship network utilises a multidisciplinary approach to examine new developments in the biosciences in the context of broader shifts in the economy and society, particularly with respect to the dynamics of expertise, consumption and population change. The research will examine the development and interaction between: experts, practitioners and professionals; consumers, citizens, and patients; and ideas about the personhood, the lifecourse and quality of life. Key themes are translational medicine, the bioeconomy, and the bioscience of ageing.

These topics address some of the most-pressing challenges in contemporary society and the relations of techno-science with everyday life. The collaborating partners bring complementary expertise drawing on the sociology of the biosciences, long-standing research on genetics and identity, analyses of emergent as well as historical dimensions of scientific fields, and through extensive work on the regulation and governance of science, a deep understanding of the contemporary policy universe, which will provide an important applied aspect of the network.

The strategic importance of the network is its focus on the ESRC’s challenge to build research capacity to enable STS-literate PGRs to be able to engage with non-social science areas of inquiry.  Additionally, it will contribute towards cross-disciplinary research and development through the research-based and commercial initiatives of agencies such as the TSB and RCUK more generally.

Network Projects

The meaning and practice of translational research in biomedicine

Principal Supervisor – Susan Molyneux-Hodgson (Sheffield)

The political and moral economy of life

Principal Supervisor – Nik Brown (York)

Bioscience and the Ageing Society

Principal Supervisor – Anne Kerr (York)