UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Dr Christine Aicardi

Dr C Aicardi

In brief...

I originally trained in one of the French ‘Grandes Ecoles’ of engineering, and worked for many years in the information and communication technologies industry where I held a variety of positions (analyst/programmer, junior consultant, sales engineer, major account manager). I returned to higher education and came to Science and Technology Studies in 2003 as a mature student. After my MSc at the London Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, I was lucky to get ESRC funding for my doctoral studies. I completed my PhD in 2010 at UCL under the supervision of Dr Joe Cain and Dr Brian Balmer.

I have long-term background research interests that I try to pursue across projects:

  • Contemporary history of the sciences and technologies of brain and mind
  • Social studies of interdisciplinary networks and scientific/intellectual movements
  • The co-development of information and communication technologies, their users and their contexts of use, along with the cultural, social and epistemological transformations we may expect from these spiralling co-developments
  • The history of the boundaries of life, and of the human, from the Enlightenment onward

My recent research has been a sociological history project focused on Francis Crick, famous British molecular biologist and geneticist, who in later life moved to Southern California and became a neuroscientist. I have used an approach largely informed by the sociology of social movement towards a dual goal, appraising Crick’s contribution to the neurosciences and making sense of his dispersed career as a consistent whole. I have looked at other ways of 'doing science' than the personal research conducted in the lab and published in papers; rather, I have focused on Crick's discipline-building efforts through social networking, brokerage, recruitment, patronage, institutionalisation.


Aicardi, Christine (2014), “Of the Helmholtz Club, South-Californian seedbed for visual and cognitive neuroscience, and its patron Francis Crick”, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences vol. 45 (March 2014): 1-11 (link to paper)

Aicardi, Christine (2012), “Complexity, Verification, and Computer Programming”
A review of Complexity and Verification: The History of Programming as Problem Solving by Joline Zepcevski, posted 14 November 2012, on Dissertation Reviews (dissertationreviews.org), category Science Studies,
(link to review)

Aicardi, Christine (2011), “Nexus of art and science: The Centre for
Computational Neuroscience and Robotics at University of Sussex”, in
MISH MASH, Leonardo Electronic Almanac vol. 17 issue 1: 56-81, (link to LEA paper)

Aicardi, Christine (2009), “The analytic spirit and the Paris Institution for the Deaf-Mutes, 1760 – 1830”, in History of Science vol. 47 part 2: 175-221 (link)


Dr Christine Aicardi holds a Wellcome Library Research Fellowship (2011-13) (link to Wellcome Library)

2010. PhD in Science and Technology Studies, UCL.
Thesis: "Harnessing non-modernity: A case study in Artificial Life" (link to dissertation)

2005. MSc in History of Science, Medicine and Technology,
London Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology (link)

1987. Master of Engineering, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.