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Sian Beynon-Jones is an Anniversary Research Lecturer in Sociology. She discovered sociology via an undergraduate degree in Molecular Genetics, during which she became frustrated with conversations that positioned proteins as the sole agents of social change. After graduating in 2003, she undertook a taught MSc in Science and Technology studies at the University of Edinburgh, which allowed her to pursue her interest in the sociology of scientific and medical knowledge-making. Following this degree she was awarded a 1+3 ESRC studentship at Edinburgh (2005-2009), which enabled her to complete an MSc by Research and a PhD. Her doctoral research explored how expert knowledge is constructed by Scottish health professionals who are involved in the provision of termination of pregnancy, and considered the implications of this for women who seek to end their pregnancies.
Sian joined the department in 2009 as a Research Fellow, working with Nik Brown on an EU FP7 project concerning the dynamics of policy-making about xenotransplantation. In August 2011 she was awarded a three year Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Biomedical Ethics. This project explored health professionals’ and patients’ experiences of abortion provision in the UK, and in particular, their understandings of the meaning(s) of ‘time’ and ‘timing’ within this context. She took up her current post in August 2014.
Sian's main research interests are in:
Sian’s current research focuses on the forms of temporality that we live with, and how available forms of ‘time’ are produced through technoscientific practices, and their regulation. This interest has developed through a longstanding engagement with a particular area of medical practice, which intersects explicitly with legal constructions of time, namely, abortion provision in Britain. In addressing health professionals’ and women’s experiences with abortion, Sian's doctoral and post-doctoral research drew attention to the marginalisation of particular kinds of time within the clinic, and in public discourse surrounding the regulation of this procedure. Working with Nik Brown, she has also explored the temporalities of other fields of technoscience, by considering how particular innovation trajectories are enacted through the dynamics of contemporary science and technology policy-making. In her current research, she is building on this body of work through a collaborative project with Emily Grabham at Kent Law School, which is developing a network of scholarship in the field of law and time. The Regulating Time network (funded by the AHRC) aims to make time central in the analysis of law and regulation by considering how time is enacted through the practices of law, and reflecting on its implications for the lives of those who are subject to it. Sian is also exploring related themes through collaboration in the ESRC-funded project Buildings in the Making (PI Sarah Nettleton) with colleagues at York and at the universities of Kent and Queens Belfast.