School of Social and Political Science

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Innovations in science, medicine and technology permeate all aspects of our lives: from the way we interact with each other and our environment, to the impacts on our health, and how we understand our place in society.

Perhaps now more than ever we are being affected by: developments in climate change and the environment, biomedical advances in areas such as synthetic biology and pharmaceuticals, and increasing reliance on algorithms and 'big data'.

But what exactly is technology? Why do we see scientific and medical knowledge as being special and authoritative? How have social, cultural, political and economical factors played a role in defining who is, and who is not, an expert? Are the discourses of public engagement, patient involvement and more recently, responsible research and innovation, playing a role in current governance and regulation of new innovations?  

Through the legacy of the Science Studies Unit established in 1966, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies offers a unique interdisciplinary environment in which we address these, and other vital questions about the world we live in. As both a teaching and research group, our students and staff work within the following five broad themes: