Yves Gilonne
I am lecturer in French in the School of Modern Languages. I have published a number of articles on Maurice Blanchot and his contemporaries, as well as a monograph entitled La Rhétorique du sublime dans l’oeuvre de Maurice Blanchot (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2008).

I am currently working on representations of the nuclear age in France during the period 1945-1975. This project looks at the discourses and visual and material cultures of the French nuclear age, and shows how nuclear technology introduced a decisive shift in the relationship between the intellectual, the scientist and the general public, leading to the emergence of new figures such as the ‘technocrate’, the ‘cadre’ and the ‘expert’.

The project has recently given rise to a paper presented at the Society for French Studies annual conference in Oxford in 2009 (‘Maurice Blanchot et la rhétorique de la pensée atomique’) and an article on the question of war and nuclear technology entitled: ‘Premunitions: the cunning of armed reason’, in Peggy Kamuf (ed.), The World of War, The Oxford Literary Review, vol. 31, no. 2., Edinburgh University Press, 2009, pp. 189-210.

Jonathan Hale
I am an architect, Associate Professor and Reader in Architectural Theory, currently Head of the Architectural Humanities Research Group in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment:

My research interests include: The theory and philosophy of technology in architecture; the relationship between architecture and embodiment; digital technology and augmented reality in museums and exhibitions.

Recent publications include: Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions (Routledge, 2012) co-edited with Laura Hourston Hanks and Suzanne MacLeod of the University of Leicester School of Museum Studies; a chapter in the Sage Handbook of Architectural Theory (2012) entitled “Architecture, Technology and the Body: From the Prehuman to the Posthuman;” and Rethinking Technology: A Reader in Architectural Theory (Routledge, 2007) co-edited with William Braham of the University of Pennsylvania. Current research projects include ‘Moving City’, an ongoing series of interactive exhibitions and performance events carried out in collaboration with the Mixed Reality Lab of Nottingham’s School of Computer Sciences (since 2003). A selection of this work was published as a book chapter in Curating Architecture and the City, edited by Sarah Chaplin and Alexandra Stara (Routledge, 2009). I am also a member of the ‘Pervasive Media Group’ at Nottingham, a university-wide network of researchers exploring the cultural impact of digital information technologies across a range of humanities disciplines.

I also run a blog on the theme of architecture and embodiment, at

Chris Johnson
I am Professor of French in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies and coordinator of the Science Technology Culture Research Group. My interest in science and technology dates back to the time when, teaching and studying in Paris, I attended Michel Serres’ public lectures at the Sorbonne. For me, Serres was an important influence in that not only did he introduce me to the history and philosophy of science, but also showed how one could think creatively about the possibilities of interdisciplinary research.

My first book, System and Writing in the Philosophy of Jacques Derrida (1993), drew extensively on cybernetics and systems theory, and in a central chapter of my second book, Claude Lévi-Strauss: the Formative Years (2003), I looked at how cybernetics and information theory influenced Lévi-Strauss’s thinking about the nature and function of myth. I have also written articles on biotechnology, machine translation, robotics, the space age and the reception of cybernetics in France. My current research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, focuses on the theme of language, technology and aesthetics in the work of the French prehistorian André Leroi-Gourhan.

See my discussion of BRICOLAGE at

John Marks
I am Associate Professor in French Studies in the School of Modern Languages My interest in science and technology focuses primarily on speculation upon possible ways in which the human body and brain might be transformed. This interest is mediated theoretically through my reading of French thinkers such as Foucault and Deleuze, along with a more recent interest in the cultural and intellectual impact of molecular biology as a discipline.

My PhD on Michel Foucault did not deal directly with the issue of science and technology, but it did provoke one or two strands of thought that I have subsequently explored. For example, Foucault’s comments on the ‘death of man’ can today, as Deleuze suggests, be interpreted in the light of information- and biotechnologies, rather than language as Foucault suggested in the 1960s. Foucault was also the first point of contact for me with the writings of the French molecular biologist François Jacob.

I then moved on to writing about Deleuze (Gilles Deleuze: Vitalism and Multiplicity, Pluto Press, 1998) who was also interested in the ways in which the biological sciences conceptualise ‘life’. I also began to think about the ways in which Deleuze might provide the theoretical basis for an approached to bioethics derived from Spinoza rather than Kant. In May 2004 I presented a paper in Canada dealing with Deleuze’s ambivalent response to the prevalence of cybernetic theories in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as contemporary theories of ‘information’.

I am currently working on a book-length study of the way in which issues relating to molecular biology (DNA-as-information, eugenics, cloning, genetic essentialism) have been discussed and conceptualised in the post-war era in France. In 2007 I published an article on Jacques Testart’s position on the so-called ‘new’ genetic eugenics in New Formation, and in 2006 I edited of a special issue of Paragraph on Deleuze and Science.

Brigitte Nerlich
I am Professor of Science, Language, and Society at the Institute for Science and Society (School of Sociology and Social Policy). I studied French and philosophy in Germany and gained a DPhil in French linguistics. After a postdoc in general linguistic at Oxford I moved to Nottingham. My current research, mainly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust focuses on the cultural and political contexts in which metaphors and other framing devices are used in the public, policy and scientific debates about emerging technologies, emerging diseases, as well as climate change. I have written books and articles on the history of linguistics, semantic change, metaphor, metonymy, polysemy and, more recently, the sociology of health and illness and the social study of science and technology. In 2011 the University of Nottingham awarded me a DLitt for my research and publications relating to the social study of metaphor. I am a Member of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Blog: webpage:

Twitter: @BNerlich

Current research projects:
Climate change as a complex social issue, funded by the ESR/ORA fund, 2011-2014 (PI)
Making Science Public, funded by a Leverhulme Trust programme grant, 2012-2017 (Director)

Arthur Piper
After a typically adolescent interest in science fiction, I drifted away from thinking about science and technology until the mid 1990s when I became editor for two of Microsoft’s software magazines. Those posts took me around Europe interviewing some of the leading commercial thinkers in the field. Perhaps inevitably, given the futuristic description of some of the software I was writing about, my interests developed in a theoretical direction too.

While I was researching for my PhD at the University of Nottingham, Christopher Johnson and I decided to set up a reading group around the convergences between science, technology and culture, which has since developed into this research group. My own academic interests have centred on the cognitive neurosciences, images and phenomenology, particularly around the area of visual studies. Published texts include ‘Sensible Models in Cognitive Neuroscience’, Springer 2006, Images: A Reader, Sage 2006 (co-edited with Sunil Manghani and Jon Simons, and ‘Beauty in Science and Art’, Springer (forthcoming).

I am Associate Research Fellow at the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham. I was writer in residence at the University of Nottingham’s Year of the Writer Programme for 2009-2010. I was also a co-founder of the Nottingham Image Studies Network. I am currently working on a book on nanotechnology and have recently written journalism on that subject, space tourism and genetics. You can see the video interviews Neil Baker and I conducted with Margaret Boden, N. Katherine Hayles and Andy Pickering on this site.

Visit my website.

Katherine Shingler
I am lecturer in French at the University of Nottingham, having completed my PhD at the University of Bristol in 2007. My thesis was entitled ‘Visual Poetry in Theory and Practice: Mallarmé, Cendrars, Apollinaire’, and dealt with a series of poems, written in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century France, which incorporate both visual and verbal modes of expression: the text might be arranged so as to form a picture, or words might be combined with drawn or painted elements. My aim was to investigate the relationship between the visual and verbal aspects of these poems, and especially to evaluate the theories of simultaneity put forward by the poets themselves, according to which the reader is able simultaneously to read the poem, and to view it as a picture. Assessing this theory lead me to consider a wide range of relevant research from experimental psychology, bearing on the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms involved in reading and picture perception, and on the relationship between these two processes.

I am involved in the Cognitive Science reading group, which has allowed me to maintain my interest in mind and brain, and in how reading and picture perception function. As a follow-up to my doctoral work, and in addition to a new research project on the early-twentieth-century art novel, I am currently working with Professor Paul McGraw of the School of Psychology to study subjects’ eye movements as they read visual poetry, with the aim of revealing the types of cognitive strategy employed by subjects to deal with text-image combinations.