UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Emma Tobin

Emma Tobin is an Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science, and Co-Head of Department in the Department of Science and Technology Studies.

Dr Emma Tobin

1 February 2020

Emma grew up in Clonakilty, West Cork Ireland. She completed her BA at University College Dublin and her PhD at Trinity College Dublin in 2006, funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. She spent the final year of her PhD studies as a visiting fellow to the University of Cambridge where she was sponsored by Prof Peter Lipton at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science.

Emma moved to the U.K. in September 2006, when she joined the Philosophy Department at Bristol University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow on the AHRC Metaphysics of Science Project, working with the P.I. Prof Alexander Bird. Emma’s research interests are in philosophy of science. She has a keen interest on classification in science and has published widely in the field. She is particularly interested in doing interdisciplinary work on classification and is currently co-authoring a paper with Prof Rob Palgrave in Chemistry on problems of classification in structural chemistry.
Emma joined UCL in 2010 as a lecturer in the department of Science and Technology Studies, and was the undergraduate tutor for Science and Technology Studies for a number of years. She has recently taken over as co-Head of the Department of Science and Technology Studies with Professor Jon Agar, starting the appointment in September 2019. Jon and Emma are the first academics to be jointly appointed to the role of Head of Department in UCL’s history. Emma feels strongly that this opportunity could be emulated in UCL to allow academics with caring responsibilities to have an equal opportunity of holding senior positions at UCL. Emma says she found her academic home in the STS department in 2010 and enjoys working there with her fantastic colleagues from multiple disciplines ever since. She is honoured and privileged to be leading the department at an exciting time of growth and development.