The Science and Technology Pathway is built upon three distinct areas of social scientific research. The first is the sociology of knowledge with a science emphasis, focused on the social nature of scientific and other expertise. The second is the social study of biomedicine, which includes current research on mitochondrial transplant technology, neuroscience and the clinical use of genome sequencing data. The third is understandings of risk, focusing on energy systems research on responsible innovation and sustainable place making, exploring the psychosocial aspects of risk perception, contemporary life and risk practices.
The pathway sits within the interdisciplinary School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University which has a strong track record of international, peer-reviewed publication; it hosts several major disciplinary and methods-focused social science journals. Students on the pathway engage not only with students and staff working in the same field but develop networks with staff and students from other disciplines across the School. The School supports and organises a series of doctoral cohort events including an annual PGR dinner (a social event and celebration of doctoral accomplishment); an annual doctoral student conference (including paper sessions and poster competition); the student-run Postgraduate Café, and various reading groups which meet once a month to discuss a range of topics related to social research, politics and culture.
Students on the ‘1+3’ route complete the specialist module Science, Technology and Society as part of the interdisciplinary Social Science Research Methods Masters programme, alongside core modules tailored to the development of Science and Technology Studies researchers. Subject-specific training and student development continues throughout the doctorate with a wide range of reading and discussion groups, roundtable sessions, seminar series, and data analysis workshops. Amongst others, STS students attend the weekly seminars held by the KES (Knowledge Expertise and Science) research centre and the meetings of the Medicine, Science and Culture (MeSC) Research Interest Group. Both these provide opportunities to present data and/or developing writing, and to practice conference presentations. These meetings are typically attended by a wide range of academics and students and they connect STS students with the broader academic community.