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Research Profile

Prof Adam Hedgecoe 

Position:Associate Director of Cesagen
School:Social Sciences

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 70027
contact info:

Address:10 Museum Place


Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science.  1996 – 2000

Department of Science & Technology Studies, University College London. ‘Narratives of Geneticization: Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Schizophrenia’: sociological critique of the concept of geneticization.

M.A. in Applied Philosophy (Distinction).  1993 – 1994

Department of Philosophy, University of Hull. Distinction in dissertation on effects of genetic testing on private health insurance.

B.A. (Hons.) in Philosophy and Psychology (2.1).  1990 – 1993

University of Durham, UK.

Research Interests


  • Sociology of biomedical science (especially genomics)
  • The social shaping of socio-technical expectations
  • Sociology of bioethics

I am a sociologist of science and technology, although my work sits at the intersection of STS, medical sociology and bioethics.

I have two main areas of interest. The first is the impact on professional practice of genetic tests, which I have published on since 1996, and which I have explored through my Ph.D. (which looked at the geneticization of medical discourse), a Wellcome trust funded postdoc (on the clinical uptake of pharmacogenetics) and my current post as Associate Director of Cesagen. In my current role I am developing a programme of work looking at the genomics of cardiac conditions as well as debates around personal genomics.

My second area of interest is in the relationship between sociology and biothics, both in terms of what empirical sociology can offer bioethicists (sociology in bioethics) and the sociological exploration of bioethics as a social phenomenon (sociology of bioethics). In this latter area, I ran a four-country comparative ethnography of Research Ethics Committees (RECs), and have a particular interest in the history and sociology of RECs in the UK.

I have supervised PhD students looking at parents’ attitudes to vaccination in the wake of the MMR debates, the development of IVF services in Mexico and the growth of ecological approaches to public health. I am currently supervising students looking at amniocentesis for Downs Syndrome, the impact of Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis technologies, the personal and professional challenges raised by personal genomics amongst others.  I am interested in supervising anyone interested in the sociology of biomedical science or the public understanding of science.