Photo of Professor Susan Molyneux-Hodgson

Professor Susan Molyneux-Hodgson

Professor of Sociology

I am a sociologist of science, working in the field of science and technology studies, and joined Exeter in Oct. 2016.

Research interests

My research is in the field of science and technology studies and have an overarching concern with the everyday enactment of scientific work, particularly in physical sciences and engineering. My current interests are focussed on two domains of scientific activity: 1) synthetic biology / industrial biotechnology and 2) radioactive waste management and disposal.

I've been tracing the development of synthetic biology since ~ 2007 and through a series of projects have explored some of the ways the emergence of the field has been narrated; how different kinds of physical scientists and engineers have engaged with bioscientific work; and how new forms of bioscience come about through interdisciplinary practice. At present, I'm working on 2 funded projects (BBSRC and iUK) with academic and non-academic scientists to understand how ideas of responsible innovation are mobilised in everyday practice.

Since 2013 I've been developing a programme of work under the heading of 'Nuclear Societies'. This began as an ESRC-funded PhD initiative and now encompasses grants (ESRC; EPSRC); collaborations with technical groups; and intriguing opportunities for ethnographic fieldwork.


Research supervision

I am keen to work with outstanding doctoral students in any of the following areas:

  • sociology of science and technology
  • engineering studies
  • responsible research and innovation
  • gender and science

Research students

Marika Hietala (ESRC) Making Distant Futures: implementing geological disposal of nuclear waste in the UK and Finland

Florian Abraham (ESRC) Governing Uranium Mining in Greenland

Modules taught