UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Tiago Mata

Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies.

Tiago Mata

I am a historian and sociologist of economics, and have written on topics such as academic freedom, the economics of science, the history of macroeconomics, and the role of politics in social knowledge.

My current research focus is the study of the origins and development of "economic journalism." In 2016 I concluded a five year research project funded by the European Research Council project (2012–2016), 'Economics in the Public Sphere: USA, UK, France, Argentina and Brazil since 1945', the ECONPUBLIC project.

Twitter: @tiagomata

Website: www.tmata.com

For more about me, see tabs below and my CV.

My research interests are in the fields of

History of political economy 

Topics such as transformations in the economics profession, social movements in economics, leftwing economics, research practices, public advocacy.

History and sociology of social sciences

Topics such as the funding of social science, social science expertise in the state and in business, circulation of social and economic statistics.

Economic sociology

Topics such as socio-technical imaginaries, spirits of capitalism, performativity, business communication, scientific management.

Media studies

Topics such as historical ontologies of journalism, framing effects, genres and idioms of economic culture.

  • The Economist in History: The Political Economy of Liberal Journalism (ed.). forthcoming. Cambridge University Press.
  • “The Managerial Ideal and Business Magazines during the Great Depression” Enterprise and Society. forthcoming.
  • “Capitalist Threads: Engels the Businessman and Marx’s Capital” (with Robert Van Horn) History of Political Economy (2017) 49(2): 207-232.
  • The Economist as Public Intellectual (ed. with Steven G Medema), History of Political Economy (2013) special issue.
  • 'National Science Foundation patronage of social science, 1970s and 1980s: Congressional scrutiny, advocacy network, and the prestige of economics' (with Tom Scheiding), Minerva (2012) 50(4): 423–449.
  • 'Trust in Independence: The Identities of Economists in Business Magazines, 1945–1970', Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences (2011) 47(4): 359–379.
  • 'The Enemy Within: Academic Freedom in 1960s and 1970s American Social Sciences', History of Political Economy (2010) 42(5): 77–104.
  • 'Inside the Black Box: The Role of Shocking Errors in Growth Theory' (with Francisco Louca), History of Political Economy (2009) 41(5): 334–355.
  • 'Migrations and Boundary Work: Harvard, Radical Economists and the Committee on Political Discrimination', Science in Context (2009) 22(1): 115–143.

See fuller list on CV

 I am available to supervise on such topics as:

  • political economy of science - on subjects like funding regimes, rise of neoliberlaism, science and technology in economic history, valuing research
  • history of 20th century social science - principally economics, sociology, anthropology
  • the spaces of science - how science develops in international, transnational, multinational, global, local, London geography
  • science and industry  - particularly the micro business histories of science in corporations
  • science and social movements - on concepts such as lay expertise, counter-expertise, looking at the formation of activist publics through science, the uses of social media
  • historical ontologies of knowledge - using methods of the digital humanities to study science in transit, next generation scientometrics

In 2012-2016 I was principal investigator of the "Economics in the Public Sphere" (ECONPUBLIC) project, funded by the European Research Council's Starting Grants Scheme under the European Union's FP7 programme, an award of 1.4 million euros.  

Our team of historians and sociologists of various backgrounds and expertise,  investigated how economic knowledge was made public in the media of five countries, USA, UK, France, Brazil, and Argentina since 1945.

The project's two most salient outputs were two volume of essays on "The Economist as Public Intellectual" that exmained the public interventions of economics scholars throughout the 20th century and "The Economist in History: The Political Economy of Liberal Journalism." a collection of essays on the history of the magazine The Economist. For further publications and information about the team and our our research activities, see the project's website