UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Balmer, Brian

Brian Balmer is Professor in Science Policy Studies.

> b.balmer@ucl.ac.uk
> 020 7679 3924
> 22 Gordon Square, room 2.4
> recent publications (UCL database) and see below.


  • HPSC 2001: Policy Issues in the Life Sciences
  • HPSC 1004: Science Policy
  • HPSCGA41 STS Perspectives on Security and War

Term 2 Office Hours

Mon 13.00-14.00 

Tues 13.00-14.00 (not Jan 17)

2015-16 STS administrative duties

Deputy HoD
BSc Personal Tutor

Natural Sciences Stream Rep


DPhil and MSc in Science and Technology Policy Studies, University of Sussex.
BA (Hons) Pure & Applied Biology, University of Oxford

For a selection of Prof. Balmer's publications click: HERE.

My research interests focus on the nature of scientific expertise, and the role of experts in science policy formation, particularly within the life sciences. My specific interests combine historical and sociological approaches and include:  military technology and arms limitation - particularly the history of chemical and biological warfare; policies for biotechnology and genetics; the role of volunteers in biomedical research; science policy and the sociology of science.

Research Activities

PhD Supervision

I have supervised - and continue to supervise - a range of PhD students on topics related to science policy and sociology of science. This is a list of completed PhDs that I have supervised:

  • Sara Peres (2016), "Saving the Gene Pool: Genebanks and the Political Economy of Crop Germplasm Conservation" (co-supervised with Gail Davies and Sam Randalls, Geography)
  • Kajsa-Stina Longuere (2015), "The Governance of Nanotechnologies and Nanoscience: Promotion vs. Regulation" (co-supervised with Steve Miller, STS).
  • Eitan Buchlater (2014), "Ideas in Science: An Ethnographic Study" (co-supervised with David Napier, Anthropology)
  • Nissen, Timothy (2014), "Designing for Socially Acceptable Security Technologies" (co-supervised with Alex Braithwaite, Politics)
  • Shana Vijayan (2013), "Performance Anxiety: The Nature of Performance Management in the NHS Under New Labour" (co supervised with Graham Scambler, Dept of Infection & Population Health; Charles Thorpe, STS)
  • Marta Entradas (2011), "Who's for the planets? - An analysis of the 'public for space exploration' and views of practitioners on their 'publics' and public communication" (co-supervised with Steve Miller, STS)
  • Aicardi, Christine (2010). "Harnessing non-modernity: A case study in Artificial Life" (supervised with Joe Cain, STS)
  • Milne, Richard (2009) "No natural home": Placing the promise of biopharming (supervised with Gail Davies, Geography)
  • Riesch, Hauke (2008) Scientists' views on the scientific method (supervised with Hasok Chang, STS)
  • Washer, Peter (2006) Representations of newly emerging and re-emerging diseases (supervised with Helene Joffe, Psychology)
  • Stilgoe, Jack (2004) Mobile health risks: attempting a sociology of public science (supervised with Jon Turney, STS)
  • Doubleday, Rob (2003) Corporate uses of "transparency" in GM food controversies (supervised with Gail Davies, Geography)
  • Jane Calvert (2001) Goodbye blue skies? The concept of ‘basic research’ and its role in a changing funding environment (supervised with Ben Martin, SPRU)
  • Hedgecoe, Adam (2000) Narratives of geneticization: cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and schizophrenia (supervised with Jon Turney, STS)