Mark Johnson
PhD Student



  • PhD in Sociology (in progress), University of York
  • BA Hons Politics & Sociology (First Class), University of York

I came to York as an undergraduate in 2008 to study Politics & Sociology, graduating in Summer 2011. I have just submitted my doctorate in Science & Technology Studies (Jan 2015), and I'm in the process of moving into game studies/digital humanities. Outside academia I am the developer of 'Ultima Ratio Regum' (a roguelike game-in-the-making based on the work of Umberto Eco and Jorge Luis Borges), I'm an ex-professional gamer, and I run a popular blog on game design and game development.

Supervisor: Brian Loader



My research examines the UK Space Agency and how it recruits and manages actors in space programs. Space programs are traditionally regarded as long-term (10+ years), high-risk, high-cost and at the cutting edge of technology, and I wish to study how these issues and difficulties - which would seem to discourage investment - are managed. This is particularly by studying the "future"-based orientation of much of the work around space technology, in terms of "horizon-scanning", "roadmapping", etc, and the uses these are put to when trying to legitimize programs.


Selected publications

  • Johnson, M. R. & Martin, D. (Under Review), “The Predicted Futures of Space Tourism” in Mobilities (special issue invitation)
  • Johnson, M. R. (In Press), “The Social Impact of Space Science” in Dickens, P. & Ormrod, J. (Eds) Society and the Universe: An Interdisciplinary Reader, Palgrave Macmillan: London
  • Reed, D. J. & Johnson, M. R. (2014), “New Technological Localisms: A Comparative Analysis of Two Case Studies” in Brazilian Journal of Urban Management vol 6:1



I have taught on the first year "Cultivating a Sociological Imagination" module.

Contact details

Mark Johnson
PhD Student
Department of Sociology
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD