UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


UCL Science & Technology Studies research submissions ranked 4* for impact in REF 2021

12 May 2022

The excellence of research at UCL Science & Technology Studies and its positive real-world impact has improved since 2014, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF) assessment results announced today.

Helping governments interpret evidence to properly inform decision-making

The Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) contributes to many units of assessment (UoA) in the REF, with two big groups of staff joining UCL colleagues in Philosophy (6 persons) and History (8). Both History and Philosophy received 4* ratings, with Philosophy coming first in the UK and History coming 6th overall. All STS staff were submitted. The Philosophy environment statement was co-written by Professor Veronique Munoz Darde (Philosophy) and Professor Emma Tobin (STS). The History REF submission was led by Prof. Margot Finn (History) assisted by a team including Professor Jon Agar (STS).

Science and Technology Studies supplied two of the three REF Case studies for the Philosophy UoA , led by Professor Phyllis Illari and Professor Sarah Edwards. Impressively, we scored 1st nationally for impact, scoring 100%. The STS case studies played a significant role in making Philosophy at UCL 4* and first place in the UK. The two case studies were on establishing ethical standards for clinical research during public health emergencies (Edwards) and pluralistic evidence for successful policymaking about reactive system (Illari). 

“We are thrilled by our contribution to the excellent REF results, including those in the UoAs of History and Philosophy at UCL. STS is an interdisciplinary department, including in addition studies of science communication, science policy and sociology of science and technology. STS staff in these contemporary areas contributed to the overall fantastic results achieved by UCL, and we are proud of everyone’s work. STS contributed 2 out of the 3 cases studies which contributed to Philosophy’s score of 100% for impact. Congratulations to Professor Phyllis Illari and Professor Sarah Edwards who led on these impact case studies,” said Professors Jon Agar and Emma Tobin, Joint Heads of Department, UCL Science & Technology Studies.

The REF 2021 submission includes only a small sample of the dynamic and ground-breaking research undertaken by UCL Science & Technology Studies, please see the department research page for information on their other research successes. 



  • Credit: iStock Phuttaphat Tipsana