Edinburgh Research Explorer
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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Education / Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University of Nottingham
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Nottingham
Bachelor of Science, University of York



Research Interests

Martyn Pickersgill is Wellcome Trust Reader in Social Studies of Biomedicine. Based in Edinburgh Medical School, he conducts research in the social sciences and medical humanities. Martyn's primary expertise is in the sociology of science, technology and medicine. To date, his research has focused primarily on the social, legal and ethical dimensions of biomedicine and the health professions. In particular, Martyn's work has considered the sociologies of epigenetics, neuroscience, and mental health (supported through a range of funders, including the AHRC, ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, Newby Trust and Wellcome Trust).


Current Resesarch

Martyn holds a Wellcome Trust University Award concerned with the future of diagnosis in psychiatry and the politics of psychiatric knowledge production, and is currently the recipient of a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award.


Previous Resarch

Martyn previously held a Wellcome Trust Fellowship to research the social and ethical dimensions of initiatives to increase patient access to psychological therapy, and has also been supported by the Wellcome Trust to explore issues around epigenetics, ethics and society. He was part of the Manchester/Edinburgh Wellcome Trust Strategic Award in Biomedical Ethics, ‘The Human Body, Its Scope, Limits and Future’. Martyn has been Principal Investigator of a Leverhulme Trust project on 'Neuroscience and Family Life: The Brain in Policy and Everyday Practice'. This developed an earlier ESRC project (as Co-Investigator) and a Newby Trust Fellowship (held in Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities), both of which explored issues pertaining to the social life of neuroscience. He has also been Co-Investigator on two AHRC projects on science, law and society


Other Responsibilities/Activites

At Edinburgh, Martyn holds a range of roles at Institute and College level relating to Equality and Diversity (including as a member of the Athena SWAN Steering Group) and Postgraduate Research. He is a founder member (and Associate Director) of the Centre for Science, Knowledge and Policy (SKAPE), and also of the Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and Law. Marttn is a member of the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) and the Centre for Global Health. He is an associate of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE) and the Nottinghamshire Health Care NHS Trust/University of Nottingham Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

Beyond Edinburgh, Martyn has been a visiting scholar at a range of institutions, including Harvard University (supported by the ESRC), the University of Groningen (supported by the ESF), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (supported by the RSE), and the US National Institutes of Health (supported by the NIH). He is a member of the Editorial Boards of Current Sociology, Engaging Science, Technology & Society and Sociology Compass, and Book Reviews Editor for New Genetics & Society. Martyn is a member of the BBSRC Bioscience for Society Strategy Panel, and was previosuly the UK representative tothe ALLEA (European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities) Permanent Working Group on Science and Ethics. He has participated in and organised a range of public and policy engagement events, and received funds to support these activities from the British Academy, the ESRC and the Wellcome Trust (including as a Wellcome Trust 75th Anniversary Public Engagement Ambassador). Martyn was an inaugural member of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), and the 2015 recipient of the RSE Henry Duncan Medal for social science.


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