Robert Evans
Cardiff School of Social Sciences

Robert Evans is a Reader in Sociology at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences specialising in Science and Technology Studies (STS). His research interests focus on the nature of expertise and its use in policy decisions. He is particularly interested in the sorts of knowledge needed to make decisions, who possesses it and how it is shared and acted upon.

Within STS his work contributes to what has been called ‘Studies of Expertise and Experience’ or the ‘Third Wave of Science Studies.’ The characteristic feature of this approach is the recognition that a more normative approach is required if STS is to contribute to technological decision-making in the public domain.


News Archive

Research Interests

Previous projects have included a study of economic forecasters advice to the UK government, the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to develop sustainable energy plans for cities, public debate in the UK (or the lack of it) about the single European currency, the emerging politics of medical genetics and the value of deliberative research methods as way of promoting public engagement with science.

My current research is focussed around two main themes:

Previous research that I am still writing and thinking about, mainly in the context of the expertise project, includes:

Main Publications on Studies of Expertise and Experience

Collins, H.M. and Evans, R.J. (2013) ‘Quantifying the Tacit: The Imitation Game and Social Fluency’, Sociology, <Published as Online First on 25 Feb 2013;>

Collins, H.M., Weinel, M. and Evans, R.J. (2010) ‘The Politics and Policy of the Third Wave: New Technologies and Society’, Critical Policy Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 185-201. <>

Collins, H M and Evans, RJ (2007) Rethinking Expertise, Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. For some recent reviews see <> or buy the book on

Collins, H M and Evans, R J (2002) ‘The Third Wave of Science Studies: Studies of Expertise and Experience’, Social Studies of Sciences, 32 (2): 235-96. <>
Also, reprinted in Evan Selinger and Robert P. Crease (eds) (2006) The Philosophy of Expertise, New York: Columbia University Press. Pp. 39-110.

Review Articles

Evans, R J (2008) ‘The sociology of expertise: the distribution of social fluency’, Sociology Compass. <>

Evans, R J and Collins, H M (2007) ‘Expertise: From Attribute to Attribution and Back Again,’ in Edward J Hackett, Olga Amsterdamska, Michael Lynch and Judy Wajcman (eds) Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (3rd edition), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Pp. 609-30.

Recent Publications

Evans, Robert and Crocker, Helen (2013) The Imitation Game as a Method for Exploring Knowledge(s) of Chronic Illness, Methodological Innovations Online, Vol. 7 (2) <>

Collins, H.M. and Evans, R.J. (2012) ‘Sport-Decision Aids and the ‘CSI Effect’: Why cricket uses Hawk-Eye well and tennis uses it badly’, Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 21, No. 8 (November 2012), pp. 904 – 921. <First published via Online First on July 29, 2011;>

Sutherland, W.J., et al (2012) 'A collaboratively-derived science-policy research agenda'. PLoSONE, Vol, 7, No. 3: e31824. <>

Elwyn, G. et al (2011) ‘Detecting deterioration in patients with chronic disease using telemonitoring: navigating the 'tough of disillusionment’, Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, <published as ‘Early View’ on 16 Aug 2011;>

Evans, R.J. (2011) ‘Collective Epistemology: The Intersection of Group Membership and Expertise’, in Hans Bernhard Schmid, Daniel Sirtes and Marcel Weber (Eds) Collective Epistemology, Heusenstamm: Ontos Verlag. Pp. 177-202.

Working Papers

Kotchetkova, Inna and Evans, Robert (2008) Promoting Deliberation Through Research: Qualitative Methods and Public Engagement with Science and Technology, QUALITI Working Paper No. 7, November 2008. (full text pdf)

Evans, Robert and Kotchetkova, Inna (2008) ‘Facilitation or Interpretation?: Qualitative Research and Deliberative Methods’, QUALITI Methods Briefing No. 2, May 2008. (full text pdf)

Kotchetkova, Inna, Evans, Robert and Langer, Susanne (2007) Public opinion as questions not answers: how citizens evaluate the therapeutic potential of stem cell research in the context of T1 diabetes, QUALITI Working Paper, March 2007 (Full text pdf)

Research Grants

Research on the development of the Imitation Game is supported by an ERC Advanced Research Grant awarded to Professor Harry Collins. Other successful grant applications that I have been involved with include:

I have also received smaller grants from the ESRC, EU, European Science Foundation and British Academy.


Last updated on 2013-12-19

Research Projects


Imitation Games

The Euro




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