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Andrew Webster



• D.Phil (York)

• BSc (Polytechnic of the South Bank)

Professor Andrew Webster has been Professor in the Sociology of Science and Technology at York since 1999. He was also the Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit at York which he established originally at Anglia Ruskin University in 1988. He has held a visiting fellowships at ANU, Sydney and Gothenburg universities.

He was Head of the Department of Sociology at York between 2004-9 and then Dean of Social Sciences and member of the University's Senior Management Group until 2013.He has directed national research programmes for the ESRC and MRC in the fields of emerging health technologies and stem cells, and held major grants from UK research councils and the European Commission.

He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in 2007.

Andrew serves on a number of editorial and scientific advisory boards as well as national policy committees including the UK Stem Cell Bank Steering Committee, the Regenerative Medicine Expert Group Sub-committee, and the Scientific Advisory Committee, Pharmacy Research UK, as well as member of various UK and international academic bodies including, the BSA, EASST, and the Dutch WTMC's International Scientific Board.

University roles

  • He was Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit between 1988 and 2017, the Unit originally established at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
  • Chair of ESRC Doctoral Training Centre




My main research interests relate to the sociology of science and technology, and in particular the development and implications of emergent technologies in the biosciences and biomedicine, including regenerative medicine, stem cells, gene therapy and pharmacogenetics. Other research interests relate to science policy, innovation, regulation and the evaluation of new health technologies. I am also Co-Chair (with Robin Williams, University of Edinburgh) of AsSIST-UK.


Current work is focused on stem cells and regenerative medicine having completed as co-ordinator an EC-funded project (REMEDiE), and more recently the REGenableMED project (2014-17). This developed the model of ‘institutional readiness’, now being used by a number of NHS Trusts to help them prepare the ground for disruptive and complex therapies. I am Co-I on an ESRC project exploring the experimental space of gene therapy/editing and related areas and on a Leverhulme funded project examining the governance of complex biomedical technologies.

I am also a partner in the Navigating Knowledge Landscapes international network, and attached to a major 7-year project on responsible health innovation led by Pascale Lehoux in Montreal.

I Chaired a European COST Action on ‘Bio-objects’ and their governance with members from 23 countries. 


Selected publications

  • Webster, A. (2017) Regenerating medicine, Editorial, British Medical Journal, August 358:j4245
  • Webster, A. (2017) Regenerative medicine and responsible research and innovation: proposals for a responsible acceleration to the clinic, Regenerative Medicine, 12: 8 12pp
  • Gardner, J. Webster A. and Barry J (2018) Anticipating the clinical adoption of regenerative medicine: building institutional readiness in the UK, Regenerative Medicine, 13(1):29-39. 
  • Gardner, J. and A. Webster (2017) Accelerating Innovation in the Creation of Biovalue: The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Science, Technology and Human Values 42 (3): 460–490. doi:10.1177/0162243916661633
  • Corbett, M. Webster, A, Hawkins, R. and N Woolacot, Innovative regenerative medicines in the EU: a better future in evidence? BioMed Central, 15: 49-57, 2017. DOI: 10.1186/s12916-017-0818-4 Open Access paper
  • Gardner, J., Higham, R., Faulkner, A., and A. Webster (2017) Promissory identities: Sociotechnical Representations & Innovation in Regenerative Medicine, Social Science & Medicine, 2017 Open Access paper:
  • Gardner, J., and Webster, A. (2016) The Social Management of Biomedical Novelty: Facilitating translation in regenerative medicine, Social Science and Medicine, vol. 156:90-97. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.03.025
  • Eriksson, L. and Webster, A. (2015) Standardizing work as a recursive process: shaping the embryonic stem cell field, New Genetics and Society vol. 34:1 72-88.
  • Gardner, J., and Webster, A. (2015) Are there specific translational challenges in regenerative medicine? Lessons from other fields, Regenerative Medicine, vol. 10 (5).
  • Ali, R., Hollander, A., Kemp, P., Webster, A., and Wilkins, M. (2014) Regulating cell-based regenerative medicine: the challenges ahead, Regenerative Medicine vol. 9 (1) 77-83.
  • Tamminen, S., Vermeulen, N. and A. Webster (eds.) (2012) Bio-Objects: Life in the 21st Century, London: Ashgate.
  • Webster, A. (ed.) (2013) The Global Dynamics of Regenerative Medicine: A Social Science Critique (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
  • Webster, A. (2013) ‘The Boundaries and Mobilities of Regenerative Medicine’, in Webster A. (ed.) ibid.
  • Tamminen, S., Vermeulen, N. and A. Webster (eds.) (2012) Bio-Objects: Life in the 21st Century, London: Ashgate.
  • Cox, H. and A. Webster (2012) Translating Biomedical Science into Clinical practice: Molecular Diagnostics and the Determination of Malignancy, Health 17:4. Available at:
  • Webster, A., Haddad, C. and C. Waldby (2011) Experimental heterogeneity and standardisation: Stem cell products and the clinical trial process, Biosocieties, 6:4 401-19 Available at:
  • Webster, A. Douglas, C. and Sato, H., (2010) ‘Emergence of Asbestos-related Health Issues and the Development of Regulatory Policy in the UK’, in H. Sato (ed) Management of Health Risks from Environment and Food, London: Springer, pp 63-100.
  • Webster, A. Douglas, C. and Sato, H. (2010) ‘BSE in the United Kingdom’ in H. Sato (ed.) Management of Health Risks from Environment and Food, London: Springer, pp 221-267.
  • Webster, A. (2010) Law, Ethics, Religion, and Clinical Translation in the 21st Century— A Discussion with Andrew Webster, Stem Cells 28: 1915–1917
  • Webster, A. and L. Eriksson (2008) Governance-by-standards in the field of stem cells: managing uncertainty in the world of ‘basic innovation’, New Genetics and Society, vol 27.
  • Eriksson, L. and A. Webster (2008) Standardising the Unknown: practicable pluripotency as doable futures, Science as Culture, vol 17:1.
  • Webster, A. (2007) Health Technology and Society: A Sociological Critique (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
  • Webster. A. (2007) Crossing Boundaries: STS in the Policy Room, Science, Technology & Human Values, 32: 458-478.
  • A. Webster (2006) New Technologies in Health Care: Opening the Black Bag, in New Technologies in Health Care; Challenge, Change and Innovation, (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan).
  • A. Webster (ed) (2006) New Technologies in Health Care; Challenge, Change and Innovation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).
  • N, Brown and A. Webster, (2004) New Medical Technologies and Society: Reordering Life (Cambridge: Polity Press).
  • A. Webster et al. (2004) Integrating Pharmacogenetics into Society: In Search of a Model, Nature Reviews: Genetics vol 5, 663-69.
  • A. Webster (2005) Social science and a post-genomic future: alternative readings of genomic agency, New Genetics and Society, vol 24, no 2, pp 227-239.

Prof Andrew Webster

Contact details

Professor Andrew Webster
Department of Sociology Law & Management Building
University of York
YO10 5GD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324740