Edinburgh Research Explorer

Martyn Pickersgill

Personal Chair of the Sociology of Science and Medicine

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

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

Area of Expertise

Research expertisesociology, science and society, health and society



Research Interests

Professor Martyn Pickersgill is a sociologist of science, technology and medicine. Based in Edinburgh Medical School, he conducts research in the social sciences and medical humanities. Martyn's primary expertise is in the sociology of biomedicine and mental health. In particular, his work has considered the social, historical, and normative dimensions of epigenetics, neuroscience, and psychiatry.


Current Roles

Martyn holds a Personal Chair in the Sociology of Science and Medicine and is Co-Director of Research in Edinburgh's Usher Institute. In 2020, he became Co-Director of a new £5.3m Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in 'One Health Animal Models of Disease: Science, Ethics and Society' - a unique and interdisciplinary four-year doctoral training scheme that brings together expertise from CBSS and the Roslin Institute. Martyn is also Associate Director of Centre for Biomedicine, Self & Society, which he co-founded in 2018 through seed-funding of over £1m from the Wellcome Trust. 


Previous Work

Through grants and fellowships, Martyn's research has focused primarily on the social, legal and ethical dimensions of biomedicine and the health professions. In particular, his work has considered the sociologies of (epi)genetics, neuroscience, and mental health. This has been supported through a range of funders, including the AHRC, ESRC, MRC Britiah Academy, Leverhulme Trust, and Wellcome Trust. As PI/Co-PI/Co-I, Martyn has raised over £12m in external funds for research, education, and engagement over the last decade.  


Other Responsibilities/Activities

Martyn holds a variety of affilitations with bioscience, social science, and humanities institutes across the University of Edinburgh and beyond. He contributes to a number of advisory committees, funding panels, and editorial boards, within the UK and internationally. Martyn has held visiting positions at universities such as Groningen, Harvard, and Wisconsin-Madison. He is a recipient of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Henry Duncan Medal.


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