Dr Robert Evans
I am currently working on two main projects:
1. Studies of Expertise and Experience
My work on the nature of expertise is being carried out in collaboration with Professor Harry Collins. The theory we are developing grows out of our work in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and uses this to build an understanding of expertise that recognises it social foundations without allowing everyone to be an expert about everything. Details of our work, including preprints, chapters from our new book, and a glossary of terms are available from our Expertise Website and on my own web pages.
2. Innovations in Research Methods
This project forms part of the larger QUALITI research methods node that is based in Cardiff. My main contribution has been the Talking Treatments project, which has mapped the views of various lay and expert groups about innovative health technologies and investigated the extent to which these differences can be reconciled through dialogue and interaction. The project has thus implemented and tested a methodology for eliciting different knowledges and promoting debate between lay and expert groups. The project, which formally finished in December 2006, culminated in roundtable workshop in which experts, stakeholders and lay citizens all contributed to a debate about preferred treatment options for diabetes. Early results from the interview and focus group stages of the project are now available as a QUALITI working papers. A comprehensive evaluation of the methodology is now nearing completion and will be available as a working paper around Easter 2008.
I also have a longstanding interest in economics, it being the subject both of my PhD research and some more recent work on the single european currency. The publications that best reflect findings of this work include:
Evans, R J (2007) ‘Social Networks and Private Spaces in Economic Forecasting’ in Collins, H M (ed) ‘Case Studies of Expertise and Experience’, special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 38(4): 657-666.
Evans, R J (2004) ‘Talking about Money: Public Participation and Expert Knowledge in the Euro Referendum’ British Journal of Sociology, 55(1): 35-53.
Evans R J (1999) Macroeconomic Forecasting: A Sociological Appraisal. Routledge: London. ISBN 0-415-20694-4.
Evans, R J (1997) ‘Soothsaying or Science: Falsification, Uncertainty and Social Change in Macro-econometric Modelling’ Social Studies of Sciences, 27 (3), 395-438.
I have also contributed to a number of other research projects, the most recent of which has been the CESAGen flagship project on The Emerging Politics of Genetics, which aimed to understand the conditions that give rise to social and cultural innovation around science and technology. The aim of our project attempted to understand how public engagement with science and technology emerges and develops over time by tracking the its development of issues and activist organisation, effectively following them from a nascent ‘proto-politics’ -- that is a politics in the making -- to a more developed form stage in which issues, ideas and identities become more clearly defined and articulated.