Clarke, Brendan

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

At UCL, the academic mission is paramount. Our ambition is to achieve the highest standards in our teaching and research.

Join us for BSc, MSc, and PhD study.

Staff books include:

Morris 2013 spacerAthena Swan Bronze Award



Current teaching

I'm also a year 2 personal tutor, as well as the Intercalated BSc liaison tutor.

Example dissertation topics

In general, I'd be very happy to supervise dissertations in the history and philosophy of medicine or the life sciences. Some examples topics include:

  • Drawing in the teaching of anatomy - historical, comparative or conceptual study.
  • Liverworts as emerging model organisms in biology or medicine. See for information, see also e.g. Creager et al. 2007. Science Without Laws: Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives, Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.
  • Where's the causality in the Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method (RUCAM)? [see to get started]
  • Risk and Framingham charts: what's the evidence?
  • Artefact catalogue for items in the Galton Collection or the Grant Museum
  • Self-experimentation in medicine: a novel model system?
  • Morgellons [not for the squeamish. Even the wikipedia entry is pretty revolting]
  • Perityphlitis and appendicitis. Changes in reference between 1900-1920.
  • Theory-ladenness of non-visual observation in medicine. Perhaps, for example, something about heart sounds and relation to disease?
  • Causal arguments in the history of paratuberculosis. This is a strange one, because an important piece of causal evidence is the absence of other pathogens. Wikipedia.
  • Decline effect and evidence-based medicine. Decline effect and recent JAMA article.
  • Intoxication from Coca-cola and aspirin: not just an urban legend. While this is now thought to be unequivocally a myth - scopes - there are historical sources (see, e.g. this from the 1930s) that appear to take this issue very seriously.
  • Venous multiple sclerosis hypothesis
  • The hygiene hypothesis, and the rise of atopic disease

Previous teaching

Page last modified on 21 sep 12 17:24 by Brendan Clarke

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