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Science, Technology and Culture

The Science, Technology and Culture theme uses interdisciplinary expertise as a means to generate fresh responses to, and openings for techno-scientific cultures. From studying the spaces and conditions of knowledge to intervening in techno-cultural performance, from exploring legal frameworks to challenging social and ethical norms.

Research in this area unites staff from: 

REF case studies

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Exeter came 16th in the REF 2014. A number of case studies are submitted on which the University is assessed: below are those we submitted related to the Science, Technology and Culture theme.

Case studyDescription
Preserving, conserving and presenting cultural heritage
Staff in the Centre for Intermedia at the University of Exeter research methods of documenting, archiving, and replaying multi-media art, heritage, and performance. Their work demonstrates how ideas and practices of performance, particularly sharing and replay of audience experience, can broaden and enhance public encounters with museums.
The implications of recent advances in biology
Professor John Dupré has been engaged in an intensive investigation of contemporary genomic science and its implications for policy, practice and public understanding. His research has been at the forefront of criticism of popular deterministic understandings of genetics, challenging public assumptions, and informing debates over the relevance of genomics/genetics to understandings of a wide range of issues of public concern.
Translating material and visual culture
Research led by Professor Emma Cayley (the Exeter Manuscripts Project) has enhanced appreciation of medieval manuscript culture, drawing upon unique Exeter holdings, and has increased public understanding of medieval game cultures and European manuscript production. Her iPad app, developed with Antenna International, related exhibition and workshops have effected a ‘translation’ of medieval material culture through modern media.

Our impact

  • In the last 10 years Egenis has produced first class social science research on the social impact of developments in genomic science. It has become internationally known as a paradigm of collaborative research between philosophers and sociologists of science.

    Egenis Director Professor John Dupré has written extensively about how developments in genomics/genetics can help us understand a wide range of issues including health and illness, ideas of human nature and normality and gender and race, and of philosophical issues such as the possibility of free will. This has included a piece called Evolutionary Theory’s Welcome Crisis for Project Syndicate, which works with 475 leading newspapers in 151 countries.

    He delivered talks across Europe and North America, including a contribution to the prestigious Cambridge Darwin lectures and a talk at London’s Science Museum marking 50 years since scientist and novelist C. P Snow condemned the widening gap in knowledge and understanding between ‘literary intellectuals’ and ‘natural scientists’. He also took part in the Nobel Week Dialogue where participants discussed The Genetic Revolution and its Impact on Society.
  • Dr Sabina Leonelli's data-driven research project has led the way in bringing social scientists and philosophers together to discuss the implications of big data for current and future developments in biology and biomedicine.
  • The Nature, Materialities and Biopolitics (NAMBIO) group focuses on the geographies and politics of living and material systems. The group is one of the strongest and policy-focused groupings of geographers working at human/ nonhuman / technology interfaces in the UK. 

Sub themes

Find out more on the Science Technology and Culture theme blog.