The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL 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.

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Staff books include:

Bultitude - Girls into Physics

Christine's news

26 October 2013, organiser of ‘Making the History of the Postwar Life Sciences: Methods, sources and opportunities’
The symposium, jointly sponsored by the Wellcome Library and UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (London) aimed to foster dialogue and collaboration between historians and archivists of contemporary life sciences
Look at the programme!

26 October 2013, “Activism, charisma and brokerage: Reconfiguring Francis Crick’s dispersed career into a consistent whole”
Paper presented at Making the History of the Postwar Life Sciences: Methods, sources and opportunities, Wellcome Library - UCL Department of Science & Technology Studies symposium, London

27 July 2013, "Francis Crick, anti-vitalist activist"
Paper presented at iCHSTM 2013 in Manchester
Link to iCHSTM 2013

8 June 2013, “From genetics to cognitive neuroscience: looking for continuities in Francis Crick's scientific career”
Presentation given at ‘Genetics: Past, Present and Future’, Glasgow Science Festival event, co-hosted by the Society of Biology, The Wellcome Trust and Glasgow Polyomics
Link to Glasgow Science Festival
Look at the picture!

February 2013, “From giant magnets to medical imaging: The computing in-between”
Interview with Dr Ivana Drobnjak, Centre for Medical Image Computing, UCL, episode 6 in STS ‘Thinking about Science’ podcast series
Link to podcast series

10 December 2012, "The Paris Institution for the Deaf-Mutes, 1790-1830: Analytical sensationist philosophy at work"
Paper presented at Deaf World/Hearing World, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
Link to conference website

Posted 14 November 2012, "Complexity, Verification, and Computer Programming"
A review of Complexity and Verification: The History of Programming as Problem Solving by Joline Zepcevski, on the Dissertation Reviews website (
Link to the review

19 October 2012, "Neighbourhood, moral economy, and dissident interdisciplinary research"
Paper presented at the joint 4S/EASST 2012 Conference in Copenhagen

31 May 2012, "Francis Crick, gardener of interdisciplinary landscapes"
Talk given at our annual STS Research Day

Posted 26 March 2012, "A day in the Artificial Life", by Sophia Roosth
A review of my thesis on Artifical Life on the website of Dissertation Reviews ( Follow them on facebook:
Dissertation Reviews

16 March 2012, "The life of Francis Crick: A lesson in bridging disciplines"
Bite-Sized Lunchtime lecture in the Richard Mully Basement, UCL Lewis's Building
Follow UCL Bite-Sized on facebook:
UCL Bite-Sized Lunchtime Lectures

Dr Christine Aicardi

Dr C Aicardi

Wellcome Library research fellow
room B.14, 22 Gordon Square

In brief...

I originally trained in one of the French ‘Grandes Ecoles’ of engineering, and worked for many years in the information and communication technologies industry where I held a variety of positions (analyst/programmer, junior consultant, sales engineer, major account manager). I returned to higher education and came to Science and Technology Studies in 2003 as a mature student. After my MSc at the London Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, I was lucky to get ESRC funding for my doctoral studies. I completed my PhD in 2010 at UCL under the supervision of Dr Joe Cain and Dr Brian Balmer.

I have long-term background research interests that I try to pursue across projects:

  • Contemporary history of the sciences and technologies of brain and mind
  • Social studies of interdisciplinary networks and scientific/intellectual movements
  • The co-development of information and communication technologies, their users and their contexts of use, along with the cultural, social and epistemological transformations we may expect from these spiralling co-developments
  • The history of the boundaries of life, and of the human, from the Enlightenment onward

My recent research has been a sociological history project focused on Francis Crick, famous British molecular biologist and geneticist, who in later life moved to Southern California and became a neuroscientist. I have used an approach largely informed by the sociology of social movement towards a dual goal, appraising Crick’s contribution to the neurosciences and making sense of his dispersed career as a consistent whole. I have looked at other ways of 'doing science' than the personal research conducted in the lab and published in papers; rather, I have focused on Crick's discipline-building efforts through social networking, brokerage, recruitment, patronage, institutionalisation.


Aicardi, Christine (2014), “Of the Helmholtz Club, South-Californian seedbed for visual and cognitive neuroscience, and its patron Francis Crick”, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences vol. 45 (March 2014): 1-11 (link to paper)

Aicardi, Christine (2012), “Complexity, Verification, and Computer Programming”
A review of Complexity and Verification: The History of Programming as Problem Solving by Joline Zepcevski, posted 14 November 2012, on Dissertation Reviews (, category Science Studies,
(link to review)

Aicardi, Christine (2011), “Nexus of art and science: The Centre for
Computational Neuroscience and Robotics at University of Sussex”, in
MISH MASH, Leonardo Electronic Almanac vol. 17 issue 1: 56-81, (link to LEA paper)

Aicardi, Christine (2009), “The analytic spirit and the Paris Institution for the Deaf-Mutes, 1760 – 1830”, in History of Science vol. 47 part 2: 175-221 (link)


Dr Christine Aicardi holds a Wellcome Library Research Fellowship (2011-13) (link to Wellcome Library)

2010. PhD in Science and Technology Studies, UCL.
Thesis: "Harnessing non-modernity: A case study in Artificial Life" (link to dissertation)

2005. MSc in History of Science, Medicine and Technology,
London Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (link)

1987. Master of Engineering, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Page last modified on 02 jan 14 16:48 by Christine C R Aicardi

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