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.

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Staff books include:

Lock - Successful Science Communication

Marsh, Oliver

Oliver Marsh for web

Research in Brief

I am currently commencing the first year of my PhD research into how nonprofessional ‘science enthusiasts’ use interactive online media to spread notions of what ‘science’ means and why it is worth being enthusiastic about. ‘Science enthusiasts’ is a broad subcultural label incorporating groups such as the geek movement, rationalists/skeptics, and citizen scientists, all of whom are currently subject to much discussion amongst scholars of Public Engagement with Science (as well as fleeting appearances in popular media). However I am approaching this research from the broader theoretical perspective of Sociology of Knowledge, to examine the role of communication amongst nonprofessionals in creating scientific knowledge. My project is supervised by Karen Bultitude and Simon Lock, and is funded by the ESRC.

Academic Background

Prior to UCL I studied undergraduate Natural Sciences (Physics and HPS) and a Masters in History and Sociology of Science at the University of Cambridge. My studies generally focussed on history of science popularisers, and my final dissertation discussed the role of personal mythologies in the work of Richard Feynman and Carl Sagan. Other research interests include the sociology of scientific knowledge, the history of modern physics, expertise, and science in/as performance.

Science Communication

I write facetiously about science studies and current affairs in my blog SidewaysLookAtScience, and have performed multiple times with academic stand-up comedy groups ScienceShowoff and The Bright Club. In the past I have been events co-director for the Triple Helix Society and interviewed about science communication for the Science of Fiction and Speaking of Science. In the future I am planning to produce two short plays about Einstein and Schrödinger which combine physics, physical theatre, social biography, and jokes.

Papers and Presentations

Lurking Nine to Five: 'Non-Participants' in Online Science Communication (Silences of Science Network 'Silences in the History and Communication of Science' conference, December 2013)

Optimal Screen Resolution: The Internet and Interdisciplinary ‘Scaling’ (British Sociological Association ‘Working together? STS, collaboration and (multi)disciplinarity’ conference, December 2013)

Life Cycle of a Star: Media Myths of Feynman and Sagan (Science Museum ‘Rediscovering the History of Biography’ workshop, July 2013)


Twitter: @SidewaysScience

Page last modified on 24 apr 14 12:52 by Oliver M Marsh

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