Professor Nick Fox


School of Health and Related Research

Honorary Professor of Sociology
+44 114 222 0808

Full contact details

Professor Nick Fox
School of Health and Related Research
Regent Court (ScHARR)
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

My work as a sociologist addresses a number of key issues in the study of social processes, in health and health care, sexuality, technology and the environment. Research has ranged from doctoral work on the organisation of surgery, through a programme of research on the impact of the Internet on patients and professionals, to most recent work on the governance of health technologies, health identities and embodiment.  An interest in the application of Deleuzian theory to sociology governs my innovative recent work on technology, creativity, emotions and sexuality.

I joined the University of Sheffield in 1988 having cut my academic teeth in the University of Bristol Medical School. Until September 2009, I was ScHARR's Director of Teaching, and also did ten years as Postgraduate Tutor. In 2009 I left the full-time staff and now hold an honorary professor appointment.  I continue to undertake empirical research, organise training for PhD supervisors, and collaborate with colleagues on research projects.  I am currently writing a book for Sage entitled Sociology and the New Materialism.

The Wisdom Centre, of which I am director, grew out of an initial research project to provide educational research and training to the NHS regionally and nationally. It now provides training in clinical governance and research methods to medical staff in the UK and globally, and on social research methods.

I welcome inquiries from potential PhD students.

My work is widely cited and I have an international reputation for this body of work. I was plenary speaker at the Hellenic Sociological Society conference in Athens in 2009, and have given invited lectures on my work in Australia, Thailand and Portugal.  In 2012, I have been invited to speak at the London and the North West medical sociology seminar series, as well as conference papers at the BSA, Sexual Cultures and Medical Sociology conferences.

In 2007, I was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Adelaide, while in 2006 I held a similar fellowship at the University of Sydney, and also spent time working at Flinders University on a number of collaborations.

Research interests
  • Embodiment, Health and Identity
  • The Governance of Health Technologies
  • Creativity and Health
  • Sexuality and Affect

Current projects:

  • Obesity
  • Creativity and health:
  • New materialism and Sexuality
  • Emotions and Affect
  • Developing further my work around Health Technologies specifically Personal Health Technologies.
Teaching interests

Although I no longer teach in ScHARR, I retain interests in the delivery and governance of higher education.

I run an independent consultancy known as the Wisdom Centre, which provides online training in Clinical Governance to Yorkshire and Humber NHS Postgraduate Deanery. To date, more than 1000 SpRs have taken the course.

Professional activities

Co-editor of the academic journal Health: since 2006.

Member of the editorial board of Arts and Health.

I am co-convenor of the British Sociological Association New Materialisms study group and the Applied Sociology Group, and in that latter role am a member of the BSA's Advisory Forum, having also been the BSA's press officer from 1989 to 1993.  I served as an institutional reviewer for the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency. Until 2005, I was external advisor to the University of South Australia Centre for Sustainable Development.

My work on the Internet and health led to service on various NHS committees, and consultancy work with many NHS organisations and pharmaceutical companies. In 2010, I undertook a commission from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to evaluate the research training provided to their staff.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.