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:

Agar - Constant Touch 1st edition

MSc: Join us on Open Day

Open Day 14 January 2015

Open Dayspacer

BSc: Seen our campaign? 

Next STS Open Day 04 February 2015

STSUCL wind turbinesspacer

Marsh, Oliver

Oliver Marsh for web

Research in Brief

I am currently in the second year of my PhD research
into how nonprofessional ‘science enthusiasts’ use interactive online social 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. I am currently writing up this research into two papers for publication, if you would like draft copies contact me.  Other
research interests include the sociology of scientific knowledge, the history
of modern physics, expertise, and science in/as performance.

Public Engagement, Outreach, and Media

I write facetiously about science studies and current affairs in my blog SidewaysLookAtScience, and occasionally on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog. I have also performed multiple times with the academic stand-up comedy groups ScienceShowoff and The Bright Club, including at the Royal Society 2013 Summer Science Exhibition. In the past I have appeared on the BBC1 debate programme The Big Questions discussing the subject of 'should we have more faith in science', been interviewed on science communication for the Speaking of Science website and the Science of Fiction podcast, volunteered with the social media and podcasting team at the Cambridge Science Festival, and been events co-director for the Cambridge branch of the Triple Helix Society. Pipelines projects include an audio dramatisation of Bruno Latour's Aramis and two one-act social-historical physical theatre pieces on the thinking of Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger.

Papers and Presentations

Science Enthusiasts: Offline Identities and Online Knowledge [forthcoming] (4s/ESOCITE Annual Meeting, Buenos Aires, August 2014)

The Multiple Scales of Undirected Engagement [forthcoming] (DPhil Research Day, University of Sussex, May 2014)

Online Science Enthusiasts: Knowledge, Identity, and the Mass Media (Digital Sociology ECR/PhD Workshop, Goldsmiths College, February 2014)

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)


PGTA 'History of Twentieth Century Science' (HSPC1011) September-December 2013

PGTA 'Science Communication' (MAPS2001) September-December 2013

Other Work

Student Representative for the UCL ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.  Administrator for the joint London DTCs' Twitter account @LondonESRCDTC and blog.

Conference Rapporteur for UCL Big Data Institute

Invited reviewer for Public Understanding of Science

Email: oliver.marsh.13@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @SidewaysScience

Blog: SidewaysLookAtScience

Academia.edu: academia.edu/OliverMarsh

Page last modified on 24 oct 14 15:12 by Oliver M Marsh

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)
0207 679 1328 office | +44 207 679 1328 international
sts@ucl.ac.uk | www.ucl.ac.uk/sts | @stsucl
postal address:  Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom
street address: 22 Gordon Square, London, WC1E 6BT | maps