Picture of Professor Paul MartinProfessor Paul Martin

Professor of Sociology

(BA (Hons), MSc, DPhil)


Telephone: 0114 222 6414 (external), 26414 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, G34


Paul joined the Department in March 2012 to take up the position of Chair in Sociology and Director of Research. He was formerly the Director of the Institute for Science and Society at the University of Nottingham.


Paul has two main areas of research interest. The first is the ethical, legal and social issues associated with emerging medical technologies and the second focuses on the commercialisation of biotechnology and expectation dynamics in medical innovation. His research has previously examined the development of gene therapy, genomics, pharmacogenetics, stem cells and regenerative medicine. Paul has advised the European Parliament, the Conseil d'Analyse Economique (part of the French Prime Minister's Office), the UK Department of Trade and Industry and the Wellcome Trust. He is a member of the Editorial advisory Boards of Sociology of Health and Illness and New Genetics and Society.

As regards his research interests in synthetic biology, Paul is currently a member of a BBSRC working group on synthetic biology, a co-investigator in a recently established multidisciplinary chell network and have co-authored a major review of the social and ethical issues raised by synthetic biology which was published in June 2008.

As regards his research interests in neuroscience, Paul is a leader of a strand of research on neurosociety as part of the £1.6m Leverhulme Trust Programme Grant 'Making Science Public'.

Recent Funded Research Projects
Date Sponsor Details
2016-18 Leverhulme Trust How Does Inequality get 'Under the Skin'? Epigenetics, health disparities and the making of public policy (PI).
2015-17 ESRC EpiStressNet: a biological systems approach to understanding the epigenetic embedding of social stress responses (Co-I).
2012-17 Leverhulme Trust

Making Science Public: challenges and opportunities (PI)

A five-year research programme funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2012-2017) looking at the challenges involved in making science more public; how are attempts to do so changing the relationship between science, politics and publics, and what are the normative implications for problems relating to political legitimacy, scientific authority and democratic participation?


Paul convenes:

  • SCS1017 Science, Technology and Society
  • SCS3034 What it means to be Human

Postgraduate supervision

To find out more about our PhD programmes, go to:
Studying for a PhD in Sociology


Publications since 2005

Weiner, K., Martin, P., Richards, M., & Tutton, R. (in press) Have we seen the geneticization of society? Expectations and evidence. Sociology of Health and Illness.

Meloni, M., Williams, S., & Martin, P. (2016). The biosocial: sociological themes and issues. The Sociological Review Mongraphs, 64(1), 7-25. doi:10.1002/2059-7932.12010

Balmer, A. S., Calvert, J., Marris, C., Molyneux-Hodgson, S., Frow, E., Kearnes, M., Bulpin, K., Schyfter, P., MacKenzie, A. and Martin, P. (2016). Five Rules of Thumb for Post-ELSI Interdisciplinary Collaborations. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 3(1), 73-80. doi:10.1080/23299460.2016.1177867

Lo, C., Martindale, J., Hadjivassiliou, M., Gabe, J., Williams, S., Martin, P., & Coveney, C. (2015). Pharmaceuticals and society: Power, promises and prospects. Social Science and Medicine, 131, 193-198. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.02.031

Pickersgill, M., Martin, P., & Cunningham-Burley, S. (2015). The changing brain: Neuroscience and the enduring import of everyday experience. Public Understanding of Science, 24(7), 878-892. doi:10.1177/0963662514521550

Martin, P. (2015). Commercialising neurofutures: Promissory economies, value creation and the making of a new industry. BioSocieties, 10(4), 422-443. doi:10.1057/biosoc.2014.40

Balmer, A.S., Calvert, J., Marris, C., Molyneux-Hodgson, S., Frow, E., Kearnes, M., Bulpin, K., Schyfter, P., MacKenzie, A. and Martin P. (2015). Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community. Science and Technology Studies, 28(3), 3-25.

Martin, P., Dalton, A., & Bandmann, O. (2014). The documentation of consent and disclosure of neurogenetic testing outside clinical genetics. Neurogenetics, 15(1), 19-21. doi:10.1007/s10048-014-0391-3

Pickersgill, M., Niewöhner, J., Müller, R., Martin, P., & Cunningham-Burley, S. (2013). Mapping the new molecular landscape: Social dimensions of epigenetics. New Genetics and Society, 32(4), 429-447. doi:10.1080/14636778.2013.861739

Moffatt, F., Timmons, S., & Martin, P. (2013). Constructing notions of healthcare productivity: The call for a new professionalism?. Sociology of Health and Illness. doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12093

Smart A, Tutton R, Martin P, Ellison GTH (2012) 'Race' as a social construction in genetics,  in Identity Politics and the New Genetics: Re/Creating Categories of Difference and Belonging,  Berghahn, 30-52.

Pickersgill, M.D., Martin, P.A. and Cunningham-Burley, S. (2011) ‘Constituting Neurologic Subjects: Neuroscience, Subjectivity, and the Mundane Significance of the Brain’, Subjectivity, 4(3):346-365. doi: 10.1057/sub.2011.10

Williams SJ, Martin P, Gabe J. (2011) 'Evolving sociological analyses of 'Pharmaceuticalisation': A reply to Abraham', Sociology of Health and Illness 33(5):729-730. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01396.x

Williams, S. J., Martin, P. and Gabe, J. (2011), The pharmaceuticalisation of society? A framework for analysis. Sociology of Health and Illness, 3(5):710-725: doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01320.x

Williams, S.J., Katz, S. and Martin P. (2011) Neuroscience and Medicalisation: Sociological Reflections on Memory, Medicine and the Brain, in Martyn Pickersgill and Ira Van Keulen (eds) Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences (Advances in Medical Sociology, Volume 13) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 231 - 254.

Plagnol, A.C., Rowley, E., Martin, P. and Livesey, F. (2009) Industry perceptions of barriers to commercialization of regenerative medicine products in the UK. Regenerative Medicine 4(4):549-559 [Cit: 4]. doi:10.2217/rme.09.21

Calvert, J. And Martin, P. (2009) The role of social science in synthetic biology. EMBO Reports, 10(3):201-204. [Cit: 10]. doi:10.1038/embor.2009.15

England, T.J, Martin, P., and Bath, P.M.W. (2009) Stem cells for enhancing recovery after stroke: a review. International Journal of Stroke 4:101-110 [Cit: 9]. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2009.00253.x

Coveney, C.M., Nerlich, B., and Martin, P.A. (2009) Modafinil in the media: metaphors, medicalisation and the body. Social Science and Medicine. 68(3):487-95 [Cit: 8]. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.11.016

Williams, S. and Martin, P.A. (2009) Drug induced cognitive enhancement and society. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 3(1)

Martin, P.A.,  and Balmer, A.  (2008) Synthetic Biology: Social and Ethical Challenges. September 2008. Available from http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/organisation/policies/reviews/scientific-areas/0806-synthetic-biology.aspx

Tutton R, Smart A, Martin P.A., Ashcroft R, Ellison GTH. (2008) Genotyping the future: scientists' expectations about race/ethnicity after BiDil®. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (3) 464-470 [Cit: 8]. doi:10.1111/j.1748-720X.2008.292.x

Martin, P., Brown, N., and Turner, A. (2008) Capitalising hope: the commercial development of umbilical cord blood stem cell banking. New Genetics and Society. 27(2): 127-143 [Cit: 4]. doi: 10.1080/14636770802077074

Weiner, K. and Martin, P.A. (2008) A genetic future for coronary heart disease. Sociology of Health and Illness. 30 (3): 380-395. [Cit: 10]. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2007.01058.x

Ellison GTH, Tutton R, Outram SM, Martin P., Ashcroft R, Smart A. (2008) An interdisciplinary perspective on the impact of genomics on the meaning of 'race', and the future role of racial categories in biomedical research. NTM Journal of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine 16: 378-386. [Cit: 1]. doi: 10.1007/s00048-008-0301-6

Ellison, G.T.H., Kaufman, J.S., Head, R.F., Martin, P.A. and Kahn, J.D. (2008) Flaws in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Rationale for Supporting the Development and Approval of BiDil as a Treatment for Heart Failure Only in Black Patients. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics. 36(3): 449-457 [Cit: 7]. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2008.290.x

Smart, A., Tutton, R., Ashcroft, R., Martin, P.A., Balmer, A., Elliot, R. and G.T.H. Ellison (2008) Social Inclusivity vs. Analytical Acuity? A Qualitative Study of UK Researchers Regarding the Inclusion of Minority Racial/Ethnic Groups in Biobanks. Medical Law International, 9(2): 169-190 [Cit: 2]. doi: 10.1177/096853320800900205

Martin, P.A., Brown, N and Kraft, A. (2008) From bedside to bench? Communities of Promise, Translational Research and the Making of Blood Stem Cells. Science as Culture. 17(1):29-42. [Cit: 10]. doi: 10.1080/09505430701872921

Smart, A., Tutton, R., Martin, P.A., Ellison, G. T. H. and Ashcroft, R. (2008) The Standardisation of Race and Ethnicity in Biomedical Science Editorial and UK Biobanks. Social Studies of Science. 38(3): 407-423 [Cit: 15]. doi: 10.1177/0306312707083759

Ellison, G.T.H., Smart, A., Tutton, R., Outram, S.M., Ashcroft, R. and Martin, P. (2007) Racial categories in medicine: a failure of evidence-based practice? PLoS 4(9): 1434-1436 [Cit: 21]

Hopkins, MH., Martin, PA., Nightingale, P., Kraft, A. and Mahdi, S. (2007) The Myth of the Biotech Revolution: An assessment of technological, clinical and organisational change. Research Policy 36(4): 566-589 [Cit: 67]. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2007.02.013

Hopkins, M.M. and Martin, P.A. (2006) Role of pharmacogenetics in the use of CNS drugs: from drug pipeline to primary care? (editorial). Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 6(12):1765-1767 [Cit: 1]. doi: 10.1586/14737175.6.12.1765

Martin, PA., Coveny, C., Kraft, A., Brown, N and Bath, P (2006) The commercial development of stem cell technology: lessons from the past, strategies for the future. Regenerative Medicine 1(6): 801-807 [Cit: 11]. doi: 10.2217/17460751.1.6.801

Smart, A.; Tutton, R., Ashcroft, R., Martin, P.A. and Ellison, G.T.H. (2006) Can Science Alone Improve the Measurement and Communication of Race and Ethnicity in Genetic Research? Exploring the Strategies Proposed by Nature Genetics. BioSocieties 1(3):313-324 [Cit: 11]. doi:10.1017/S1745855206003036

Brown, N., Kraft, A. and Martin. P. (2006) The Promissory Pasts of Blood Stem Cells. BioSocieties. 1(3):329-348 [Cit: 7]. doi: 10.1017/S1745855206003061

Hopkins, MM., Ibarreta, D., Gaisser, S., Enzing, CM., Ryan, J., Martin, PA., Lewis, G., Detmar, S., van den Akker-van Marle, ME., Hedgecoe, AM., Nightingale, P., Dreiling, M., Hartig, KJ., Vullings, W. and Forde, T. (2006) Putting pharmacogenetics into practice. Nature Biotechnology 24 (April): 403-410 [Cit: 52]. doi: 10.1038/nbt0406-403

Smart, A. and Martin, P.A. (2006) The promise of pharmacogenetics: Assessing the prospects for disease and patient stratification. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 37(3):583-601 [Cit: 6]. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2006.06.002

Busby, H. and Martin, P.A. (2006) Biobanks, national identity and imagined genetic communities: the case of UK biobank. Science as Culture. 15(3):237-251. [Cit: 16]. doi: 10.1080/09505430600890693

Martin, P (2005) The paradox of race/ ethnicity (response to Ellison). Critical Public Health. 15(1): 77-78 [Cit: 3] doi: 10.1080/09581590500048481

A full list of publications can be downloaded by clicking the link on the right of this page.