Robert Evans is a Reader in Sociology at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences. 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 should be acted upon. His work focuses on the ways in which knowledge -- scientific and lay -- is developed, used, combined and contested.
My research has focussed on both the dynamics of specific controversies and is now linking these different studies into a more general theory of expertise. 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, and the emerging politics of medical genetics. 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:
Collins, H M and Evans, RJ (2007) Rethinking Expertise, Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. For some recent reviews see <http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/socsi/evansrj/news25.html> or buy the book on amazon.co.uk
Collins, H M, Evans, R J, Ribeiro, R and Hall, M (2006) ‘Experiments with Interactional Expertise’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 37 (4): 656-74. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2006.09.005>
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. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312702032002003>
Also, reprinted in Evan Selinger and Robert P. Crease (eds) (2006) The Philosophy of Expertise, New York: Columbia University Press. Pp. 39-110.
Evans, R J (2008) ‘The sociology of expertise: the distribution of social fluency’, Sociology Compass. <http://www.blackwell-compass.com/home_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.
Evans, Robert and Kotchetkova, Inna (2009) ‘Qualitative Research and Deliberative Methods: Promise or Peril?’ Qualitative Research, Vol. 9, No. 5, pp. 1-19.< http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468794109343630>
Evans, Robert, Kotchetkova, Inna, and Langer, Susanne (2009) ‘Just Around the Corner: Rhetorics of Progress and Promise in Genetic Research’, Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 43-59. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963662507078016>
Collins, H.M. and Evans, Robert (2008) ‘You Cannot be Serious! Public Understanding of Technology with Special Reference to “Hawk-Eye”’, Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 283–308. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963662508093370>
Kotchetkova, ~Inna, Evans, ~Robert and Langer, ~Susanne (2008) ‘Articulating Contextualized Knowledge: Focus Groups and/as Public Participation?’, Science as Culture, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 71 – 84. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09505430701872897>
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. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2007.09.011>
Collins, H M, Evans, R J and Gorman, M (2007) ‘Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise’ in Collins, Harry (ed) ‘Case Studies of Expertise and Experience’, special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 38(4): 686-697. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2007.09.003>
Evans, R J and Plows, A (2007) ‘Listening Without Prejudice? Re-Discovering the Value of the Disinterested Citizen’, Social Studies of Science, 37(6): 827-854. <http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312707076602>
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)
I have received grants from the ESRC, EU, European Science Foundation and British Academy. Recent successful grant applications that I have been involved with include:
Last updated on 16 January, 2012