UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Dr Rony Armon

Teaching Fellow in Science Communication

Rony Armon

I have a broad background in the life sciences and in STS. For my dissertation, I wrote the scientific biography of Joseph Needham (1900-1995) and examined the history of biochemistry in interwar Britain. More recently, I focused on science and health journalism in broadcast media. I mainly examine how expert or lay participants to media interviews discuss scientific research by evoking both science and personal experience. Most revealing to me were the ways by which scientists use narrative and metaphor to introduce when introducing their research in the news media.

•    r.armon@ucl.ac.uk
•    Office: 22 Gordon Square, room 1.4
•    phone 020 7679 3703
•    Twitter: @rony_armon

Office Hours by appointment:
Tuesday 4.30-5.30pm
Wednesday 12am-1pm


HPSC2002, Science in Popular Culture
HPSCGA44 Science, Media and Culture


My research applies social interaction methodologies to the study of science and health communication in news interviews. In a project conducted as Marie Curie Fellow in the Centre for Language Discourse and Communication at King’s College London, I explored the use of storytelling and metaphor by scientific experts. My current research examines interview programmes and current affair documentaries with both experts and lay participants for their roles in advising the public about health risks and reporting about obesity.

In addition to studies of broadcast media, I take part in a systematic review of public engagement and communication activities in relation to nanoparticle research. Nanotechnology is among the fastest growing research areas with applications in medicine, food and cosmetics. Yet experts warn that some applications carry health risks that need to be communicated to and discussed with the public. In this study, directed by Gabriella Rundblad at King’s, we examine how specific technologies and risks have been dealt with by the media or in public dialogues.

Blog posts

Metaphors for many goals: Discussing research in interactional settings, Making Science Public Blog, 28.7.17
Beyond facts and lies: Science in a post-truth era, Public Understanding of Science Blog, 16.7.17
Who defines social science concepts for the general public?, Public Understanding of Science Blog, 19.1.17
Communicating (the science of) antimicrobial resistance, Public Understanding of Science Blog, 14.10.16
How do scientists tell (their) stories?, Public Understanding of Science Blog, 25.6.16

Peer Reviewed Publications

Armon R. (2017). Radio sensors and electric storms: Scientific metaphors in media talks. Science Communication, 39: 443-465.
Armon R. Interactional alarms: Experts’ framing of health risks in live broadcast news interviews, Health Communication, online first.
Armon, R., Barel Ben-David, Y., & Baram-Tsabari, A. (2017). Ribosomes as current affairs: The science of London and Kirschenbaum (Hebrew). Media Frames, 16: 85-108.
Armon R. and Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, (2016). Our findings, my method: Framing science in televised interviews, Public Understanding of Science, online first.
Armon, R. (2016). Expert opinion and scientific contexts: Storying research in the news media, Discourse and Communication, 10: 3-21.
Armon, R. (2012). From Pathology to Chemistry and Back: James W. Cook and Early Chemical Carcinogenesis Research. Ambix 59:152-169.
Armon, R. (2012). Between biochemists and embryologists: The biochemical study of embryonic induction in the 1930s. Journal of the History of Biology, 45: 65-108.
Armon, R. (2010). Beyond Darwinism’s eclipse: Functional evolution, biochemical recapitulation and Spencerian emergence in the 1920s and 1930s. Journal of the General Philosophy of Science, 41: 173-194.
Armon, R. (2007). Writing biographies and autobiographies of science. Minerva, 45: 295-304.
Armon A, Graur D, and Ben-Tal N (2001). ConSurf: An algorithmic tool for the identification of functional regions in proteins by surface mapping of phylogenetic information. Journal of Molecular Biology, 307: 447-63.

Working Papers

Armon, R., & Georgakopoulou, A. (2017). Popularization in action: Small stories of scientific expertise. Working Papers in Urban Languages and Literacies (WP 216). 

Book Chapters

Armon, R. (2014). The history of biotechnology research and education at Ben-Gurion University (Hebrew), In: The Sciences and Humanities in the Negev. Gradus, Yehudah and Nevo, Yitzchak (eds.) Beer Sheba: Ben Gurion University Press, 219-248.


Barel, Yael, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Ran Peleg, Ran, Rony Armon, and Ayelet Raveh. (2015). Towards evidence based science communication policy in Israel: Science coverage in the Israeli news media (Hebrew). Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research. Haifa: Israel.