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Centre for the Study of Knowledge Expertise Science

KES is a university-wide, internationally known, research centre specialising in the nature of expertise in science and society.

KES is a university-wide, internationally known, research centre specialising in the nature of expertise in science and society. KES draws together researchers in:

  • sociology and history of science
  • sociology of scientific and medical knowledge
  • philosophy of science and journalism
  • media and cultural studies.

KES also supports an active group of postgraduate researchers which holds a lively weekly seminar series and has strong links with departments throughout the university including City and Regional Planning. Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Physics, Engineering and Computer Science. In addition, KES maintains close links with STS departments in Europe, Brazil and the US and organises the regular SEESHOP conferences to develop its own research agenda.

KES welcomes applications from graduate students or others who would be interested in researching in any of these areas or new or related topics. KES is recognised by the ESRC for the award of PhD studentships in Science and Technology Studies and has had success in the past in obtaining Cardiff University PhD studentships.

In addition, KES supports the MSc in Science, Media and Communication as well as the specialist STS pathway through the ESRC recognised MSc in Social Science Research Methods that can form the foundation for a PhD within the centre.

KES maintains strong links with other departments throughout the University including City and Regional Planning, Journalism Media and Cultural Studies, and Philosophy. Science Education is developing in collaboration with the education wing of the School of Social Sciences.


The main focus of the Centre's work is developing Studies in Expertise and Experience (SEE) through case studies of pure and applied sciences as well as projects investigating public understanding of, and participation in, science.

Members of KES are engaged in a wide variety of activities. The research activities of the individual members are linked by their common focus on the sociological nature of knowledge and contexts in which it is used, developed, and contested.

This research develops the Studies of Expertise and Experience (SEE) outlined by Collins and Evans in their 2002 paper 'The Third Wave of Science Studies' and their 2007 book Rethinking Expertise.

Selected publications

Current and recent research projects have examined on topics including

  • experimental and theoretical physics
  • genetics and biomedicine
  • economic theory and forecasting
  • automation and intelligent machines
  • technology transfer
  • deliberative methods
  • GM crops and products
  • health policies for AIDS and MMR
  • climate change.


Professor Robert Evans

Professor Robert Evans


+44(0) 29 2087 4034