UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Dawson, Emily

Lecturer in Science Communication


My work focuses on how people engage with and learn about science, with an emphasis on equity and social justice. My current research explores how to disrupt rather than reproduce social disadvantages in relation to science education, engagement and communication. 

Over the past 12 years I have carried out research on science learning and engagement in a variety of settings including science centres, museums, scientific societies and schools.

• emily.dawson(at)ucl.ac.uk
• Phone: 020 3108 4411
• Office: 22 Gordon Square, room 2.1
• Twitter: @emilyadawson


I am on research leave for the academic year 2017-2018. Modules I have previously led or co-taught in the STS department are listed below.

  • HPSC1007 Investigating Science & Society
  • HPSC2002 Science & the Mass Media
  • MAPS2001, Science Communication
  • HPSCGA46, Science, Identities & Social Justice (aka: Science, Technology & Identity   on moodle)
  • HPSCGA01 Introduction to Science & Technology Studies

*** For prospective PhD students ***

Thank you for your interest in working with me. At the moment I am at capacity with the number of PhDs I can supervise. Until one of them finishes I can't take on any more PhDs (no pressure!). Please consider looking at the rest of our wonderful department and contact our Graduate Tutor (Tiago Mata) for questions about application processes, deadlines etc. 


My research focuses on bridging the divides between the political, cultural and social aspects of science education and engagement, with an emphasis on social equity and justice. For example, my research explores where & how people encounter science in their lives, how they feel about those encounters & how such encounters reproduce social inequalities. I am interested in supervising PhDs that explore aspects of science, learning and equity, especially those that focus on intersectional identity issues, social inclusion/exclusion and power in relation to science engagement and learning. For example, one completed PhD student studied how technology mediated learning supported HE students & another explored how gender affects science engagement in schools and informal science learning environments. Current PhD student projects include investigating how gender influences epistemic practices in the sciences, studying comedy in science communication and examining intersectional inequalities in maker spaces. 

Click here for details for the Phase 2 Science Learing + Project 'Youth Equity + STEM', that I am a Co-Investigator on.

Click here for details of the Phase 1 Science Learning + Project 'Equity Pathways', that I was a Co-Investigator on.

Click here for details of the Enterprising Science project, which I am currently involved in & here for a short video about Science Capital.

Peer-reviewed publications

Book Chapters & Reports

  • Dawson, E. (2016). Chapter 7: When Science is Someone Else's World. Pp. 82-92. In Avraamidou, L. and Roth, W-M. (Eds). Intersections of Formal and Informal Science. London and New York: Routledge. [Blog summary here]
  • Tomei, A., Dillon, J. and Dawson, E. (2015). Chapter 10: United Kingdom. Pp.161-177  in Freeman, B., Marginson, S. and Tytler, R. (Eds). The age of STEM: Educational policy and practice across the world in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Dawson, E., Seakins, A., Archer, L., Calabrese Barton, A., & Dierking, L. (2015). Equity in informal science learning: a practice-research brief (Equity Pathways in Informal STEM Learning). London, UK: King's College London. [Blog summary for all this project's reports here]
  • Calabrese Barton, A., Dierking, L., Greenberg, D., Archer, L., Dawson, E., & Seakins, A. (2015). Pathways in informal science learning: a practice-research brief (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London.
  • Dierking, L., Archer, L., Dawson, E., Calabrese Barton, L., Greenberg, D., & Seakins, A. (2015). Research & practice agenda: equity pathways in informal STEM learning (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London. 
  • Seakins, A., Archer, L., Calabrese Barton, L., Dierking, L., Dawson, E. & Bonebrake, V. (2015). Science Learning+ Youth Equity Pathways in Informal Science Learning: Survey findings (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London.
  • Archer, L., Seakins, A., Dawson, E., Calabrese Barton, A., Greenberg, D., & Dierking, L. (2015). Youth equity pathways in informal science learning (The Youth Access & Equity in Informal Science Learning (ISL) project). London, UK: King's College London.
  • King, H., Dillon, J., Dawson, E. and Osborne, C. (2014). Explore your universe: Final evaluation report. London: King’s College London.
  • Falk, J., Osborne, J., Dierking, L., Dawson, E., Wenger, M., and Wong, B. (2012).Analysing the UK Science Education Community: The contribution of informal providers. London: Wellcome Trust.
  • Cavell, S., Dawson, E. and Featherstone F. (2011). Roundtable for Advancing the Profession: Assessing the impact of Science and Discovery Centres. http://www.at-bristol.org.uk/assets/files/At-Bristol%20RAP%20report.pdf, accessed 5.12.12.
  • Dawson, E. (2009). On constructing collaborations between engineers, designers and publics. Pp. 132-136 in Kerridge T., Beaver J. and Pennington S. (Eds.). Material Beliefs. London: Goldsmiths University.

Other publications

Blog posts & podcasts