I came to the University of Nottingham after a stint as Research Associate at Lancaster University's Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC) and Centre for Science Studies. I received my PhD in 2003 from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), University of Pittsburgh in the United States. I have an interdisciplinary background having spent a year as Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering (University of Nottingham) in 2009-10. I enjoy collaborating with colleagues in other disciplines and welcome new connections.
I work on social, cultural and policy aspects of large-scale system-wide challenges, focusing on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and energy transitions. My expertise covers science and technology studies (STS), in particular, the interface between science/technology, policy systems, political and ethical questions, and the environment. This has taken me into methodological approaches and debates around the role of evidence and expertise in policymaking, public engagement, and what is now characterised as 'responsible research and innovation' (RRI).
Working within Science and Technology Studies (STS), my research explores forms of knowledge and innovation required for managing global and local challenges in ways that are sensitive to diverse… read more
ALISON MOHR, ORLA SHORTALL, RICHARD HELLIWELL and SUJATHA RAMAN, 2016. How should land be used? Bioenergy and responsible innovation in Agricultural Systems. In: G. SQUIRE, I. GORDON and H. PRINS, eds., Food Production and Nature Conservation: Conflicts and Solutions Earthscan. (In Press.)
RAMAN, S., MOHR, A., HELLIWELL, R., RIBEIRO, B., SHORTALL, O., SMITH, R. and MILLAR, K., 2015. Integrating social and value dimensions into sustainability assessment of lignocellulosic biofuels Biomass and Bioenergy. 82, 49–62
Working within Science and Technology Studies (STS), my research explores forms of knowledge and innovation required for managing global and local challenges in ways that are sensitive to diverse ways of knowing, acting and valuing. I have a specific interest in transdisciplinary research and teaching collaborations. I am curious about how connections between current debates on sustainability (energy transitions), health (antimicrobial resistance) and social justice might be made vivid and researchable. To this end, I am interested in new methods and approaches for clarifying and re-imagining the relationship between scientific, technological and policy frameworks, on the one had, and social, political and cultural dimensions on the other.
I am currently Director of the Leverhulme Research Programme, Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities (2016-2018). Based on a set of nine projects with partners in the Universities of Nottingham, Sheffield and Warwick, this programme investigated the mixed outcomes of initiatives to open up science-society relations. Projects explored efforts to promote greater public engagement with science, transparency in the use of evidence in policy, and responsibility in research and innovation. My colleagues and I are now synthesizing key findings across case studies in food security, energy security, antimicrobial resistance, and migration policy.
I lead a new programme of work on the contribution of social sciences to research on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This is supported by collaboration in a NERC-funded project (EVAL-FARMS) led by Dov Stekel in the School of Biosciences; and a project supported by the University of Nottingham's Research Priority Areas on AMR; Governance & Public Policy; Sustainable Development on AMR: Just Governance of a Sustainable Development Challenge.
I am Principal Investigator of a project funded by the ESRC Nexus Network and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which seeks to bring qualitative, bottom-up insights to bear on initiatives aiming to promote the long-term sustainability of charcoal as fuel in Ghana.
I was Academic Champion of a University of Nottingham Discipline Bridging Award exploring ways of Embedding Responsible Research and Innovation in the University (2015-16).
Currently, I am supervising the following PhD students.
Vahini Sangarapillai. Machine Intelligence and the experience of Knowledge Work (ESRC DTC studentship)
Lorena Macnaghtan. Collaborative Digital Healthcare Technologies (EPSRC Horizon Digital Economy DTC)
Eleanor Hadley Kershaw. 'The New Co-Production of Knowledge? Challenges and Opportunities of Transforming Global Environmental Change Research Systems and Cultures (Funded by Leverhulme Making Science Public)
Clio Cartelet. Antimicrobial resistance and Animal Health: Exploring tensions in public/professional concepts of ethical responsibility in farm/companion animal medicine (Funded by Leverhulme Making Science Public)
I have significant experience with cross-disciplinary supervision of PhD projects with colleagues in other Schools including Geography, Engineering, Biosciences and Business.
Recent PhDs completed (since 2014):
Richard Helliwell. Sustaining Biomass Supply Chains in the UK (ESRC Doctoral Training Centre studentship)
Shashank Tiwari. Stem cell research governance in India (Wellcome Trust studentship)
Beverley Gibbs. Scientific citizenship in Scotland (ESRC/Scottish government collaborative studentship)
Georgina Wood. Water literacy in the UK (ESRC/CASE award)
Andrews Safalaoh. What constitutes a Pro-Poor Agricultural Technology Approach? A study of the Black Australorp chicken breed and application of the Innovation platform concept in Malawi
Yao-Martin Donani. Developing a Sustainable Manufacturing Technology System in Ghana
Orla Shortall. Conceptions of agriculture and ethics of bioenergy (University of Nottingham/University of Copenhagen joint studentship linked to the BBSRC LACE project)
I recently led a programme of work on Social and Ethical dimensions (2009-2013) within the Lignocellulosic Conversion to Bioethanol (LACE) project. LACE was one of six scientific projects in the BBSRC-funded Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC) which focused on second-generation approaches to biofuels. Working with Dr Alison Mohr and Dr Kate Millar and drawing on STS-influenced methods of sustainability assessment and responsible innovation, this work was an example of new attempts to embed social science within a scientific project so that the wider implications of research applications may be considered at an early stage.
I was also Co-Investigator on the EPSRC-funded Rural Hybrid Energy Enterprise Systems (RHEES) project (2012-2014). In collaboration with Dr Sarah Jewitt (Geography), this work explored prospects for small-scale rural renewable energy systems from a social science perspective.