Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Gill Haddow

Gill Haddow
Dr Gill Haddow
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
Science Technology and Innovation Studies School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
2.87 Old Surgeons' Hall High School Yards Edinburgh UK EH1 1LZ
+44 (0) 131 650 2389
Research Interests
Patient experiences, Cyborgs, Sociology of health and illness, Medical sociology, Qualitative Research Methods, embodiment, public engagement

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • My feedback hours during term time are on Tuesdays from 1.30 to 3.30. You are welcome to make an appointment at other times.


I have a background in the sociology of health and biomedicine and have developed a special interest in new and emerging scientific and medical technologies.  Conceptually I have brought these interests together through theoretical interests in embodiment, identity and relationships. Areas of research in the last ten years have included animal-human transplantation; genetic databases; implantable smart technologies; organ transplantation and donation and telemedicine.

In 2013 I was awarded a Wellcome Trust University Award for the project 'Animal, Mechanical and Me: The Search For Replaceable Hearts' and I am currently interviewing people who live life with an implantable cardiac defibrillator.  I enjoy working in and on the interface between science and society studying the processes and outcomes that new and emerging science and technologies produce for individuals, groups and society.  I also like hanging out with other disciplines such as engineers, scientists, lawyers, clinicians, artists.

To see the outcome of a collaboration between young people, ICD patients, artists, and others see the documentary Everyday Cyborgs and Humanimals

Edinburgh Research Explorer profile


Research Interests

Patient experiences, Cyborgs, Sociology of health and illness, Medical sociology, Qualitative Research Methods, embodiment, public engagement

Current Projects

Social Science/Art projects:  Everyday CYBORGS: Stories from the Inside Out/Outside In

In-Valid You/th: Currently underway, is a Wellcome Trust funded public engagement project, called ‘In-valid You/th’ that is allowing a handful of teenagers to make their own short film about the fictional experiences of people whose bodies have undergone repair, replacement or regeneration with prosthetics, bionics or cybernetics or non-human animal parts.  Creating a film about individuals who may have faced stigma due to apparent physical disadvantages, may resonate with the structural constraints of living in Muirhouse or other circumstances that might be difficult. The chronic economic deprivation of the lived environment requires repair, replacement and regeneration in a similar way that some young people’s bodies may do. The views of the ‘digital citizens’ born in the internet age, are key to exploring how future high technologies might be received.  The participant-actors will 1) benefit directly from learning about the film making process through the support of directors, animators and musicians and 2) gains to self-confidence through the completion and dissemination of the outcome and 3) by challenging themselves about stigma of physical difference creates opportunities to challenge prejudices about health and wealth (e.g. the ‘undeserving poor’). We have already visited Scottish Electronics Centre and the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Cardiology Department and a Dissection at Old Surgeon’s Hall is planned  

Completed Projects

Social Science/Art projects:  Everyday CYBORGS: Stories from the Inside Out/Outside In

Electrifying Cyborg Heart: is a two-minute animation based on the separation of self/body and subject/object playing on the cultural iconography and scientific representation of the heart. It outlines how both the body and the self, come to accommodate the alien implant (implantable cardiac defibrillator). Cameron Duguid is the animator and used a light box technique

Maggie's ICD Story: I have also been working with one of my participant respondents who has recently been implanted with an ICD.  You can see her story (Maggie's Story) on Vimeo here:  It shows Maggie, newly implanted with an ICD, writing about the various emotions, inner dialogue and other people’s reactions to her, on a variety of different backgrounds (Letters, diaries, appointment cards, ECG readings etc).  She is sharing with an audience how it feels to be an ‘everyday cyborg’.  The film-maker Ross Ziegelmeier used stop-motion animation (for an example of his work see ).

Everyday Cyborgs: A story about bodies in parts (in production): An animated film that will be in 5 sequences and is based on the different stages of the cyborgisation process that starts with the implantation of a cybernetic device – ICD.  Working again with Ross, we have Helen Cowdy on board with us


Guidance and Feedback Hours

My feedback hours during term time are on Tuesdays from 1.30 to 3.30. You are welcome to make an appointment at other times.

Undergraduate Teaching

Medical Sociology

From the moment we are conceived to the time of our death, medicine plays a profound role in all of our lives. But how should we understand ‘medicine’ as a domain that has become so ubiquitous in the modern world? And how might social scientists study it?

PhD Supervision

PhD Topics

I am interested in identity, embodiment, organ transplantation, genetics, ARTs, public engagement, patient participation, as well as the impact that new and emerging medical biotechnologies have more generally; usually using approaches from medical sociology, sociology of health and illness, or science and technology studies.

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

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

Current PhD Students

Vassilis Galanos Mapping Human-Machine Symbiosis: STS Investigations of Artificial Intelligence and Cyborg Technologies.

Fiona Coyle, CRISPR and the consequences of germline modifications (ESRC/Open Competition)

Anna Kuslits, Practice, Knowledge and Objects in 18th Anatomy.

Annie Sorbie, What do appeals to the Public Interest do?

Natalia Nino Machado, ‘Growing Right’ Child Growth Standards in Colombia.

Aoife McKenna, Enhancing Sterilisation in Brazil.

Karina Romo, Pregnancy Loss in Mexico

Liam Simmonds, 'The Quantified Self'.

Completed PhD Students

Malissa K Shaw: Embodied Agency and Agentic Bodies: Negotiating Medicalisation in Colombian Assisted Reproduction (2016)

Alison Wheatley: Good Soldiers, Good Guys, and Good Parents: The Meanings of Donation and Donated Tissue in the Context of the Danish Donor Sperm Industry (2016)

Tirion Seymour: The Third Sector and the Shaping of Scottish Huntingdon’s disease services: organisations, identity and boundary work (ESRC/Open Competition) (2016)

Tarmphong Chobisara: The Authentic Research Relationship in Biobanks Winner in the field of law for the Anglo-Thai Society Education Awards (2016)

Leah Gilman: Qualifying Kinship: How do UK Gamete Donors Negotiate Identity-Release Donation (2017)

Sara Bea: No Heroics, Please: Mapping Deceased Donation Practices in a Catalan Hospital (ESRC/Open Competition) (2017)



* Haddow, G. (2010) ‘The Phenomenology of Death, Embodiment and Organ Transplantation’, Sociology of Health and Illness, Vol. 24, No. 6 pp 92 – 113.  Reproduced with permission in Moore, L. J., and Kosut, M., The Body Reader: Essential Social and Cultural Readings, New York University Press, New York, p. 108-123.

*Haddow G. (2009). We only did it because he asked us": gendered accounts of participation in a population genetic data collection.  Social Science & Medicine. 69(7), 1010-1017 (cit 6).

*Haddow, G. (2006). Because you’re worth it? The Taking and Selling of Transplantable OrgansJournal of Medical Ethics, 32, 324-328. (Cit 39)

*Haddow, G. (2005) ‘The Phenomenology of Death, Embodiment and Organ Transplantation’Sociology of Health and Illness, Vol. 24, No. 6 pp 92 – 113. (Cit 50)

*Haddow, G. (2003) ‘Donor and non-donor families’ accounts of communication and relations with healthcare professionals,’ Progress in Transplantation, Vol.13, No.2 pp.1 – 7. (cit 41)

Joint Articles and Book Chapters (* Refereed):

Vermeleun, N., Haddow, G., Seymour, T., Faulkner-Jones, A., Shu, W., (on-line access) 3-D Bioprint Me: A Socio-ethical Analysis of 3-D bioprinting, Journal of Medical Ethics.  See blog So what is not to like about 3-D Bioprinting?

*Haddow, G., King, E, Kunkler, I, and McLaren D., (2015) ‘Cyborgs in the Everyday: Masculinity and Biosensing Cancer’, Science and Culture. 

*Haddow G., Harmon, S., and Gilman L, (2015) ‘Implantable Smart Technologies (IST): Defining the ‘Sting’ in Data and Device’, Health Care Analysis. pp.1-18

*Harmon, S., Haddow, G., and Gilman L, (2016) ‘Implantable Smart Medical Devices: An Empirical Examination of Characteristics, Risks and Regulation’, Law, Innovation and Technology. Vol 7, No 2 pp231-252

Mikami, K., Alastair, K., and Haddow G., (2015) ‘The Life Costs of living with Rare Diseases: Cases of Huntingdon’s Disease and PKU’ in Kumar, D., and Chadwick, R., (eds) Genomics and Society, Elsevier Press, London.

Ikegwuonu, T   Haddow, G.,   Tait, J   Kunkler, I (2015) Recovering breast cancer patients’ views about the use of in-vivo biosensors to personalise radiotherapy treatmentInnogen Working Paper

Haddow, G., Mittra, J., Snowden, K., Barlow, E., and Wield D., (2014) From Sick Man to living lab – Narratives of Scottish health since devolution. Innogen Working Paper.

Harmon, S., Laurie, G., and Haddow, G. (2013) Governing Risk, Engaging Publics and Engendering Trust: New Horizons for Law and Social ScienceScience and Public Policy, 40 (1) 25-33 (cit 4)

*S. Harmon & G. Haddow, (2012) "Banking (on) the Brain: The Neurological in Culture, Law and Science" 12 Medical Law International 79-91.

*Haddow G., Murray, L. & Cunningham-Burley, S., (2011). Can the governance of a population genetic data bank effect recruitment? Evidence from the public consultation of Generation Scotland. Public Understanding of Science. Vol. 20, No. 1 (January) pp. 117-129 (cit 7)

*Haddow, G., Bruce, A., Sathandam, S., and Wyatt, J (2010) Nothing is really safe’: a focus group study on the processes of anonymising and sharing of health data for research purposes. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. Available at (Cit 13)

*Haddow, G., Bruce, A., Calvert, J., Harmon, S., & Marsden, W. (2010). Not ‘human’ enough to be human but not ‘animal’ enough to be animal – the case of the HFEA, cybrids and xenotransplantationNew Genetics and Society, March, 29 (1) 3 – 9 . (Cit 9)

*Roberts, A., Heaney, D., Haddow, G., & O'Donnell, C.A. (2009). Implementation of a national nurse-led telephone health service in Scotland: assessing the consequences for remote and rural localities. Rural and Remote Health(Cit 11).

*Haddow, G., Cunningham-Burley, S., Bruce, A., & Parry, S. (2008). Generation Scotland: consulting publics and specialists at an early stage in a genetic database's development. Critical Public Health, 18(2), 139 - 149. (Cit 33)

*Williams, B., Entwistle, V., Haddow G., and Wells, M., (2008) Promoting research participation: Why not advertise altruismSocial Science and Medicine, Vol 66, 7 1451-1456 (Cit 44)

Williams, B., Entwistle, V., Haddow G., and Wells M., (2008) Placing evidence in context: A response to Fry’s commentary, Social Science and Medicine, Vol 66, 7, Pages 1461-1462

Haddow, G., and Cunningham-Burley, S., (2008) ‘Tokens of Trust or Token Trust?: The case of Population Genetic Data Collections’ in ‘Trust, Health and Illness’ (eds) Alexandra Greene, Julie Brownlie and Alexandra Howson, Routledge.

*Haddow, G, O’Donnell, K and Heaney, D. (2007) ‘Organisational identity and its role in the provision of unscheduled immediate health care’Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, Volume 13, Issue 2, Page 179-185. (Cit 11)

*Haddow, G., Laurie, G., Cunningham-Burley, S., & Hunter, K. (2007). Tackling Community Concerns about Commercialisation and Genetic Research: A Modest Interdisciplinary Proposal. Social Science and Medicine, 64, 272-282. (Cit 82)

*Smith, B., Campbell, H., Blackwood, D., Connell, J., Connor, M., Deary, I., Dominiczak, A.F., Fitzpatrick, B., Ford, I., Jackson, C., Haddow, G., Kerr, S., Lindsay, R., McGilchrist, M., Morton, R., Murray, G., Palmer, C., Pell, J., Ralston, S., St Clair, D., Sullivan, F., Watt, G., Wolf, R., Wright, A., Porteous, D., & Morris, A. (2006). ‘Generation Scotland: the Scottish Family Health Study: A new resource for researching genes and heritability.’ BMC Medical Genetics, 7, 74 (Cit 54)



 International (2014 – onwards):

  • Haddow G., (January 2015) Conceptualizing Disability as a Public Health Issue: Impairment, Enhancement and Emerging Biotechnologies, Brocher Foundation, Switzerland. 
  • Haddow, G., (October 2014) Everyday Cyborgs and their Life with a Heart Device, The University of Copenhagen.
  • Haddow, G. (April 2014) Everyday Cyborgs and their life with a Heart Device, Wellcome Trust Workshop, ‘Translational Bodies: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues, Prato, Italy.
  • Haddow, G, (January 2014) Me and Mine: What does Embodiment have to say about Property Rights? Broche Foundation, Geneva Switzerland.

National (most recent):

  • Haddow, G., (May 2017), Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators: The Becoming of the Everyday Cyborg, University of Newcastle, Newcastle.
  • Haddow, G., (February 2017), Panellist, Enhancing Engagement, Co-production, and Collaborative Meaning-Making in Qualitative Health Research, UCL Qualitative Health Research Network, London.
  • Haddow, G, (September 2016) Everyday Cyborg Stories From the Inside Out, Wellcome Trust, London.
  • Haddow, G., (April 2016); The Ethics of Cyborgisation; The Ambiguity of Embodiment and The Triad of I, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield.
  • Haddow, G., (November 2014) Animal, Mechanical and Me: Muddled Bodies, muddling along; Nuffield Council of Bioethics, Barbican Centre, London.