Lock, Simon J
Dr Simon J Lock is a Lecturer in the Department of Science and
Technology Studies at University College London. His research focuses on the governance of science, particularly the historical, sociological
and policy-related questions around the public dimensions of science and technology.
> simon.lock (at) ucl.ac.uk
> 020 7679 3763
> 22 Gordon Square, room 1.2
My research interests focus on the governance of science and technology with a particular focus on the historical, sociological and policy-related questions around the public dimensions of science and technology. Currently my research falls into three broad areas:
Public understanding of, and engagement with, science and technology
I have spent a decade studying the history and sociology of the public understanding of science movement in the UK and its impact on science policy, particularly public engagement with science.
My PhD, funded by the ESRC, was entitled: ‘Lost in Translations: Discourse, Boundaries and Legitimacy in the Public Understanding of Science in the UK.’
The project was a sociological and historical study of the different actors, concepts and discourses of public understanding of science in the UK. Drawing on documentary analysis and interview data, it examined how the concepts of ‘the public’, ‘science’ and the relationship between science and public, have been constructed and contested by different professional groups. It identified four distinct phases of debate since 1985 and related these recent concerns within a broader historical context of debates over the relationship between science and the public.
I am currently working on a book which will cover the history of the Public Understanding of Science movement and beyond in the UK from 1985 - present day. It will be published by Ashgate in 2013.
- Simon J Lock, (2011), ‘Deficits and dialogues: science communication and the public understanding of science in the UK’, in David Bennett and Richard Jennings, eds, Communicating Science For Scientists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
- Jane Gregory and Simon Jay Lock (2008), ‘The evolution of ‘Public Understanding of Science’: Public engagement as a policy tool in the UK’, Sociology Compass, 2/4, 1252 – 1265.
- Jane Gregory, Jon Agar, Simon Lock and Susie Harries (2008) ‘Public engagement in the private sector: a new form of Public Relations?’ Science Communication for the 21st Century, edited by Martin W. Bauer and Massimiamo Bucchi (London: Routledge).
Governance of new technologies
I am part of a multidisciplinary research team working on a UCL Grand Challenges project on the Governance of Climate Change Technologies. The project is exploring the role of governance and public involvement in low-carbon technologies. The project group will be publishing an article on "Public Participation and Climate Change Infrastructure" in the first 2013 issue of the Journal of Environmental Law. An accompanying policy briefing is available here. We are currently conducting further focus group research as part of the ongoing project.
In early 2012 I was recently awarded a UCL Grand Challenges Small Grant which will be used to kick start a new interdisciplinary research project on online social media. The Project blog can be found here.
I was part of a multidisciplinary research team at UCL, who, under the Grand Challenges Research have been conducting research into Carbon Governance. I have been researching public attitudes and behaviour towards wind energy and nuclear energy in the UK, and examining policy initiatives which attempt to change human behaviour towards a low-carbon economy.
I have also conducted research into public attitudes to, and involvement in, genomics, as part of the UEL/UCL qualitative survey of public attitudes to genomics (2005), which was part of a wider project hosted by the University of Surrey and funded by the ESRC.
Representation and display of science
I am currently conducting research with Dr Angela Cassidy (UEA) and Dr Georgina Voss (UCL/SPRU) on the display and representations of sex in the museum setting, with an examination of the Sexual Natures exhibition at the Natural History Museum.
I am also conducting research into the displays and exhibitions in the Festival of Britain, 1951, examining the representations of science and technology and the manner in which these constructed different publics for science in the post-war period.
Science and Sexualities
As a side interest I am also currently conducting research with Dr Angela Cassidy (UEA) and Dr Georgina Voss (UCL/SPRU) on the relationship between scientific research and sexualities, particularly examining the co-construction of both. We are particularly interested in the potential for STS as a discipline to engage with this research area.
Page last modified on 14 sep 12 17:54 by Simon J Lock