School of Social and Political Science

Research impact examples - STIS

Introduction

The Science, Technology and Innovation Studies team’s work is having significant impact on how society understands and responds to a rapidly changing world. Across the research clusters in STIS, our academics are producing interdisciplinary research, identifying research opportunities and exploring solutions to issues resulting from new technologies and scientific innovations.  

Here are just a couple of examples of the impact STIS is having on the world and that were submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Content

Innovation Friendly Regulation: Implementing Proportionate and Adaptive Governance for Innovation (PAGIT) in Technology in the UK

Professor Joyce Tait MBE

Research by Professor Joyce Tait and her colleagues at the Innogen Institute, based in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies subject area, provided evidence on how and where regulatory systems in the UK are having negative effects on innovation through non-adaptive regulatory systems.

This work covered areas including:

  • diagnostic devices
  • drug development
  • initiatives to overcome antimicrobial resistance
  • regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies
  • agricultural biotechnology
  • animal cloning
  • industrial biotechnology

 

As a result of their research:

  • A framework for the future governance of such technologies called Proportionate and Adaptative Governance for Innovation in Technology in the UK (PAGIT) was developed.
  • Professor Joyce Tait led the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology initiative that culminated in the publication of the White Paper on Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, setting up four government initiatives designed to deliver the necessary regulatory adaptation.
  • Funded by Innovate UK, the British Standards Institution commissioned Professor Joyce Tait as technical author of a standard on responsible innovation (RI) to support responsible company behaviour in light of expected future changes in UK regulatory systems.
Creating ‘Everyday Cyborgs’

From 2013 to 2018, Dr Gill Haddow’s Wellcome Trust project Animal, Mechanical and Me: The Search for Replaceable Hearts examined issues around body modifications and implants from a sociological perspective. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, she explored questions including:

Through in-depth interviews with ICD patients, Haddow revealed that, although these patients shared similar experiences with other cardiac patients, they faced additional experiences around device implantation and activation. These experiences engendered feelings of alienation, autonomy loss and a lack of control. However, she identified that patients could overcome these by viewing the ICD as ‘part of them’ and becoming, as she terms it, ‘everyday cyborgs’.