I originally was a research chemist working in the automotive industry and then in environmental protection. After studying at the Open University, I returned to full time higher education to complete a PhD at Lancaster University. After this, I worked at the MRC Medical Sociology Unit, Glasgow University, where I spent a period on secondment to the MRC Public Communications Group in London. This was followed by a period working as a medical sociologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2005 I took up a post in the Department of Sociology at the Open University.
I have research interests in Science and Technology Studies especially as applied to issues of health and medicine. I have recently completed a historical study examining the cultural turn towards the sun and sunlight in early twentieth century Europe and this research provides an analysis of the roles that sunlight played in the mediation of such notions as health, pleasure, the body, gender and class. I also have conducted research into critical approaches to the public understanding of science as applied to health issues. Recently I have been worked on an ESRC funded study into how biosecurity interfaces with other concerns in our globalised world. I have research interests in the impact of wearables and digital health.
I was Co-Chair on the production of Making social worlds: security, conduct and attachment (DD308). I worked on the production of a new PG foundation module "Principals of Social and Psychological Inquiry" (D801). I am currently Chair of a new sociology module in production, 'Understanding Digital Societies' (DD218), due to be presented for the first time in the autumn of 2020.
I am The Managing Editor of the BSA-funded "Cost of Living Blog" about-about the politics, economics and sociology of health in times of austerity.