School of Social and Political Science

Fadhila Mazanderani

Job Title

Chancellor's Fellow

 Fadhila Mazanderani's photo

Room number


Building (Address)

Old Surgeons' Hall

Street (Address)

High School Yards

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

Social movements, Patient experiences, Public health, Health policy, Sociology of Knowledge, Medical sociology, Social media and internet technologies, Chronic illness, Care ethics

Current Projects

I am currently engaged in two core strands of research.

Bodies of Evidence: Digital Technologies, Patient Activism and Contested Therapies

This is a long term study of transnational digitally mediated patient activism in the field of neurology. The key focus of the project is an interrogation of: i) how patients and, to a lesser extent, biomedical researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, use digital technologies in relation to contested theories and treatments and; ii) the effects this use has on patients’ experiences and the wider field of Multiple Sclerosis(MS) research, treatment and care in different national healthcare contexts (the UK, Australia, the USA and Canada). The project tackles and contributes to a number of important themes within science and technology studies (STS) and medical sociology, namely: experience and expertise, and more specifically experience as expertise; the role of digital technologies in medical controversies; patient activism and health social movements.

Improving NHS quality using internet ratings and experiences (INQUIRE)

This project explores the use and effects of online patient feedback and comments on healthcare services in the UK (INQUIRE funded by the NIHR). The work I am directly involved in, which forms part of a wider programme, explores how people affected by a range of chronic and acute health conditions living across the UK have commented on healthcare services through a variety of different online platforms (e.g. blogs, NHS websites, patient feedback services).

PhD Topics

I welcome inquiries from prospective students who are interested in applying theoretical and methodological approaches from Science and Technology Studies to different contexts and case studies in Medicine and Healthcare. In particular: 1) The epistemological, political and ethical consequences of the introduction of internet and other technologies in medicine and the life-sciences; 2) Alternative forms of knowledge in medicine and healthcare, including patients' lived experiences, emotions and sensory perception; 3) Contested knowledge and controversial medical theories and treatments. In addition, I would be interested in hearing from students who would like to conduct research in relation to the following health conditions and medical specialisms: HIV and sexual health; neurological conditions (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis; Parkinson's disease); Medically unexplained or unrecognized conditions (e.g. CFS/ME, electrosensitivity); allergies and auto-immune conditions.

Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with: (opening in new windows)

Current PhD Students

I am currently supervising the following PhD projects:

Tim Squirrell on knowledge, expertise and authority in the ‘digital age’ (with Steven Yearley)

Liam Simmonds on new materialism and health-related self-tracking (with Gill Haddow)

Yu-chen Lin on disability and assistive technologies (with Martyn Pickersgill and Ingrid Young)


I joined the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies group in September 2013. Prior to coming to the University of Edinburgh I held posts at Durham University, the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford. I hold an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. I originally studied at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and worked as a management consultant in the Media and Telecommunications industry before deciding to pursue further academic study.

My research interests sit at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Medical Sociology and Anthropology. I have conducted research on the use of information technology in relation to chronic illness and contemporary healthcare (HIV/AIDS and neurodegenerative disease), expertise and experience, the ethics of care, illness narratives, privacy and the internet. I have a particular interest in the production and mediation of alternative forms of knowledge and ways of knowing in healthcare, and how we might use this to re-think the relationship between knowledge, ethics and aesthetics in medicine and related fields.

Undergraduate Teaching

I currently co-convene the Honours course Medical Sociology (with Gill Haddow)


Journal articles
Book chapters
Review essays