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Carmen McLeod

Senior Research Fellow, Responsible Research & Innovation, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

Dr Carmen McLeod is an interdisciplinary social science researcher with a particular interest in exploring multi-species relations in the context of governing emerging biotechnology applications. Dr McLeod recently returned to the School of Life Sciences as social science lead on research within the Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) exploring how a Responsible Research and Innovation framework can be embedded within the work of the Centre. She previously held a Research Fellow post at the SBRC from June 2015 to June 2017, before taking up a 10-month project at University of Oxford, contributing to the Good Germs Bad Germs project and the Oxford Interdisciplinary Microbiome Project (IMP). Dr McLeod was also employed by the University of Nottingham from February 2013 to June 2015, on the Leverhulme Trust Programme: 'Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities', working on the project: 'Animals and the Making of Scientific Knowledge'. Prior to moving to Nottingham, Dr McLeod built up experience in policy and research governance through roles at the University of Sussex and General Dental Council. Dr McLeod began her academic career in New Zealand at the University of Otago, in the Centre for Sustainability (CSAFE), where she carried out research on social dimensions of wetland management on farms, and public perceptions of the development of GM salmon and other novel biotechnologies. Her doctoral studies were also carried out at Otago, where she investigated the environmental, ethical and cultural dimensions of duck hunting.

Research Summary

Carmen took up the role of social science lead, Research Fellow, Responsible Research and Innovation, at the University of Nottingham's Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) in April 2018. Prior… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

Carmen took up the role of social science lead, Research Fellow, Responsible Research and Innovation, at the University of Nottingham's Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) in April 2018. Prior to this, she worked closely with Emeritus Professor Brigitte Nerlich (School of Sociology and Social Policy), who led the social science programme in the SBRC from June 2014 to October 2016. The main aims of this research are:

- To map synthetic biology research within the SBRC in order to understand the potential risks and benefits of the research for society. This will form a baseline from which to start engaging the research team, industry stakeholders and wider society in RRI and to anticipate future developments and challenges.

-To use participant-observation, interviews, workshops and focus groups in order to work towards embedding RRI in the distinctive Nottingham SBRC environment, while also observing, recording and mapping the process as it unfolds.

- To discover what are the challenges and stumbling blocks along the way; what are the successes and contributions that an RRI framework can make.

- To foster dialogue and reflection between the SBRC's research community, social scientists, outreach experts, industry stakeholders and wider society and foster interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement.

Carmen also has a particular interest in multi-species ethnography as a novel methodology for exploring human-microbial relationships in the context of emerging biotechnology applications.

OTHER RESEARCH INTERESTS:

Carmen contributed to research on the social dimensions of the microbiome at University of Oxford from June 2017 - April 2018, working on the ESRC funded Good Germs Bad Germs project and the Oxford Interdisciplinary Microbiome Project (IMP). As part of this work, Carmen was awarded a Fondation Brocher residency in Geneva (February - March 2018) to focus on sociocultural aspects of Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT),

She also has a long-term interest in the concept of 'Slow Travel' and geographies of ethical transport choices.

Past Research

Carmen was a Research Fellow funded through the Leverhulme Trust Programme: Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities from Feb 2013 until end June 2015. She worked on a project with Pru Hobson- West (PI), called, 'Animals and the Making of Scientific Knowledge'. This work focused on several research areas. One looked at the public consultation launched by the Home Office in 2011, which sought to gather views on the UK implementation of the EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. This research explored: To what extent does legislative and democratic consultation make animal research science public, and how are definitions of 'science', 'politics' (and ethics) reconfigured in this process? Other key areas of research related to the recent drive for greater transparency and openness in animal research, as well as investigating the growing influence of a new science-society policy discourse 'Responsible Research and Innovation' and how this might impact on debates about animal laboratory use.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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