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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Catherine Heeney

Catherine Heeney
Dr Catherine Heeney
Research Fellow - Making Genomic Medicine
Science Technology and Innovation Studies School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
2.08 Old Surgeons' Hall High School Yards Edinburgh UK EH1 1LZ
Research Interests
Research Ethics, Science and technology, genomics


From January 2014 Catherine has been working on the Risk strand of the Wellcome Trust funded project Making Genomic Medicine, headed by Steve Sturdy.  The focus of the work is to understand how risk is related to historical developments leading up to and following from the mapping and sequencing of the human genome.  Of particular interest is the relationship between risk and the changing understandings of what the gene is and can do, understandings shaped by interaction with various configurations of social and technical factors.  

From autumn 2010 until the end of 2013 Catherine was working as researcher based at the Spanish National Research Centre in Madrid in the Department of Science, Technogy and Gender at the Institute of Philosophy.  This research focussed on a biomedical research network engaged in the translation of basic genomic science to clinical applications for a common complex disease.  

Previously she has worked at the Ethox centre within the Department of Public Health at the University of Oxford on an EU FP7 project looking at the ethical and social issues around the development and implementation of micro array technology into the clinic and a Wellcome Trust funded project exploring the governance of genetic databases in the UK.

Catherine is interested in the flow and use of data in genomic and statistical research both from a sociological and ethics perspective.


Research Interests

Research Ethics Science and technology genomics

PhD Supervision

PhD Topics

I am interested in supervising projects dealing with sceintific ethics using an empirical approach, I am especially interested in developments in biomedical data sharing from an STS, ethics and governance perspective.

Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with:

PhD in Science and Technology Studies; MSc (R) Science and Technology Studies; MSc (R) Sociology