Our themes

Four cross-cutting interdisciplinary themes guide and shape our research and allow us to respond to those things that most challenge societies as well as STS.

Biomodifying Lives

We have a long-standing history of research on biopolitics and the relationship between biomedicine and society. Our work explores reproduction in the post-genomic era, biomodifying technologies, anti-microbial resistance, 'social' diseases, materialities of care and biology of ageing.

We ask: How do new biomedical formations challenge social formations and infrastructures, including medicine? How does biomedicine propagate the fetishization of technology and a Western-centric worldview? How can biomedicine help accomplish new forms of care, justice and social inclusion?

Living with Machines

Some of the biggest challenges facing the world today concern the relations between humans and machines. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to algorithms and automated systems, the embedding of machines poses questions about what it is to be human, and call into question the very fabric of social interaction, the ordering of human relations and the manner by which we are governed.

We ask: How are machines changing the way that we order, think, decide and create? What is it to live with, alongside and beyond machines and how does that affect the distribution of relations of power?

More-than-Human Worlds

Our work on human-non-human entanglements explores how in the contemporary moment notions of human exceptionalism as well as the natural are being challenged and/or reinforced. This work includes research on naturecultures, the animal, the anthropocene, digital and intelligent machines, money, and biocultural creations, such as animal models, diseases, resistant microbes and waste.

We ask: To what extent can we or do we want to live in a post-natural world? How can focussing on the more-than-human bring alternative futures and social worlds into being?

Storyworlds of Science: Futures, Past and Present

We're focussed on the stories that we tell, or are told, about the sciences and how they influence our awareness of the relationships between science, culture and society. We are concerned with our understandings of how both past and future contract into our present-day perceptions, and influence the actions that we take. Guiding each of these is our fundamental absorption with the role of human creativity in building different possibilities for what lies ahead for humanity. 

We ask: How have the sciences been used to create visions of different futures from the medieval to the post-modern, particularly with regard to the part that fiction plays in this process?