Professor Anne Kerr

Professor Anne Kerr


I work in the fields of Science and Technology Studies and Sociology, with a special focus upon gender, genetics and biomedicine. I am Director of the Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice. I was previously Pro Dean for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (2008-2011) and Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy (2014-2017).

I currently hold a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award in Society and Ethics (2015-2020), jointly with Sarah Cunningham-Burley (Edinburgh) where we are researching how patienthood is changing in the post-genomics era, focusing in particular upon cancer.

I have researched and written widely on the social and ethical aspects of science and technology, especially with respect to issues of public understanding and engagement with genetics and professional discourses of responsibility and choice. I have ongoing research and writing projects on responsible innovation, affect, emotions, work and care in bioscience and medicine.

I have contributed to undergraduate and MA teaching on gender, health and illness. I have taught a range of courses on science, medicine and ethics as well as research methodology with a particular focus on qualitative methods and research impact.


  • Director Centre for Health, Technologies & Social Practice

Research interests

With my colleagues Julia Swallow and Choon Key Chekar at Leeds and Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Emily Ross and Tineke Broer at Edinburgh, I am currently researching the changing roles, responsibilities and work associated with being a cancer patient in relation to the new research programmes, trials, diagnostic tests and treatments that form part of genomic medicine.  I am also the mentor/sponsor for Sonja Erikainen who has an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship on 'Sex Binaries, Performance Enhancement & Elite Sport' and Greg Hollin who has a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship 'Hard Knock Life: Negotiating concussion & dementia in sport'.   This builds on my longstanding interest in the social and cultural aspects of science, gender and innovative health technologies which I have researched in a range of projects on genetics, cystic fibrosis, assisted conception, food allergy testing, regenerative and personalised medicine and knowledge, gender and institutions. For further information please see:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (Social Sciences) Edinburgh 1995
  • MSc (Technology Studies) Edinburgh 1991
  • BSc (Hons) (Applied Physics) Strathclyde 1990

Professional memberships

  • European Association for the Study of Science and Technology

Student education

I have contributed to a range of taught courses on gender, science, medicine and health and qualitative research methods. I supervise dissertations and PhD students working on these topics too.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies
  • Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>