Social Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine

The Pathway invites applications that situate science, technology and medicine (STM) within broad social contexts. It focuses on themes that explore how scientific knowledge, and knowledge more generally, is shaped by social actors, processes and realities. It also studies how STM itself shapes society and the social perceptions of and attitudes towards science, technology and medicine. Our focus is interdisciplinary and encompasses diverse fields such as history, history of science and medicine, science and technology studies (STS), sociology, anthropology, environmental studies, and human and nonhuman health. The Pathway encourages postgraduate and postdoctoral projects with local and global focus. In the past few years, we have received applications on themes such as the changing fortunes of the dairy and fishery industries in Britain, neuroscience research in the UK, urban planning and public health, neonatal health and social inequality, and riverine ecologies in South Asia.

Programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding

N.B. Master’s programmes can only be funded as part of a 1+3/2+2 Studentship

Keele University

Lancaster University

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

For information on how to apply for funding, please visit our How to Apply page.

Pathway Representatives

Contact details for Social Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine Pathway Representatives at each institution can be found here

Current Social Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine NWSSDTP students

NaylorRobert Naylor (2018 Cohort)

Working Atmospheres: Applied and Industrial Meteorology in Britain 1945 – Present

I aim to explore the role of applied meteorology in mitigating the economic weather sensitivity in Britain by asking:

  • What historical, economic and institutional drivers have bolstered the growth of industrial meteorology?
  • Has applied meteorological information contributed to weather resilience in UK industry?
  • What factors have facilitated or impeded knowledge flows between providers, intermediaries and users of weather information?


Adele Moore (2020 Cohort)

Seizing the Means of Contraception: Accessing and Practicing Contraception in a Pandemic

In light of the pandemic of COVID 19, this research will examine the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts access to, and complicates practices of, contraception for young women. It will also explore the new methods of accessing and practicing contraception that are emerging during the pandemic.


Abi Lafbery (2020 Cohort)

Worlding, Wildness & the Climate Crisis

My project is interested in conceptualisations of ‘the wild’ and the co-constitution of bodies and environments, in the practice of wild swimming, in a time of climate crisis. I am interested in what the wild means to wild swimmers, how swimmers experience a sense of wildness and the context of outdoor swimming in the emergent industry of the wild.

NaisbittAlice Naisbitt (2021 Cohort)

‘A UK Backchannel?’: A Science Diplomacy History of the British Council in the Twentieth Century and Beyond

This research explores the science activities and initiatives of the British Council to ascertain if the organisation can be regarded as an agent of ‘science diplomacy’. By exploring the ‘soft power’ potential of the Council’s overlooked science initiatives (primarily in the USSR, Egypt, and India), the thesis will contribute to a wider understanding of Britain’s non-governmental foreign and cultural relations.

Beck Chamberlain Heslop (2022 Cohort)

Envisioning Access: The co-production of technology and visually impaired users in Britain, c. 1960-1990

Adopting methodologies from STS and critical disability studies to interrogate audio, material and textual sources, Envisioning Access investigates the co-production of visually impaired users and emerging mobility technologies in Britain c. 1960-1990. Taking a user-centred approach, the project seeks to unpack the politics of agency, access and identity underpinning technologies produced for non-normative bodies.

Social Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine NWSSDTP Alumni


%d bloggers like this: