Science and Technology Studies


STS offers degrees at each university level: undergraduate, masters, and PhD

Prof Brian Balmer

Prof Brian Balmer

Professor of Science Policy Studies

Dept of Science & Technology Studies

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 1994

Research summary

My research interests focus on the nature of scientific expertise, and the role of experts in science policy formation, particularly within the life sciences. My specific interests combine historical and sociological approaches and include: military technology and arms limitation - particularly the history of chemical and biological warfare; policies for biotechnology and genetics; scientific migration and the 'brain drain'; the role of volunteers in biomedical research; science policy and the sociology of science.

For my full web-pages please go to: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/staff/balmer

For my AHRC funded project on the historical context of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention go to:  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/historical-context-origins-biological-weapons-convention-bwc

Teaching summary

For my full teaching duties and related responsibilities please see:


HPSC0012: Policy Issues in the Life Sciences

HPSC0039: Science, Warfare and Peace

HPSC0088: STS Perspectives on Security and War

I have supervised 20 PhD students on topics related to science policy and the sociology of science and technology.  Many of the topics related to understanding developments in the life sciences in their social, political and economic context.


University of Sussex
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1993
University of Sussex
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1990
University of Oxford
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1987