UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Dr Emma Tobin

Dr Emma Tobin



  • Senior Lecturer
    Dept of Science & Technology Studies
    Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL


Emma's research interests are in the metaphysics of science; natural kinds, laws of nature and causation. Her current research is on natural kinds in biology and chemistry. Emma is interested in classification at the interface of a number of disciplines including biochemistry, evolutionary biochemistry, molecular biology, structural biology and astrobiology. She is particularly interested in the scientific classification of biomolecules and protein classification in particular and the problems that arise for classification in the context of biological complexity. Her other interests in the philosophy of science include include laws of nature, reductionism, scientific explanation and causation.

Emma joined STS in October 2010. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research fellow on the AHRC Metaphysics of Science Project. She joined the Philosophy Department in Bristol in October 2006. After completing her B.A. in University College Dublin, Emma completed a Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin, funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. She was also a visiting student at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge from May–August 2005, where she worked with Professor Peter Lipton. She was awarded her Ph.D. entitled ‘On the Disunity of the Sciences and Ceteris Paribus Laws’ in March 2006, examined by Prof. Stephen Mumford. (Ph.D. Abstract). Emma worked on an AHRC sponsored project on the Metaphysics of Science as a postdoctoral research fellow based in Bristol working with Alexander Bird from 2006-2010. More about the Metaphysics of Science Project