Department of Sociological Studies
Wellcome Trust Research Fellow
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Department of Sociological Studies
Greg joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2022. Following undergraduate and master’s degrees in Psychology at The University of Birmingham, Greg undertook a PhD at the Institute for Science and Society in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at The University of Nottingham (2010-2013). This PhD was a socio-historical investigation of the ways in which autism has been understood within psychology and neuroscience. In 2014 Greg was awarded a Mildred Blaxter post-doctoral fellowship, based in Nottingham and funded by the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness, in order to continue this research into autism spectrum conditions.
In 2016, Greg moved to the School of Sociology and Social Policy at University of Leeds following the award of research funding from the Wellcome Trust’s Strategic Support Fund. At the conclusion of this fellowship, Greg took up the position of Lecturer in Social Theory at the same institution. In 2018, he was awarded a Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science by The Wellcome Trust (2018-2022) and moved to Sheffield following the award of a Wellcome Trust University Award (2022-2027).
Greg is an editor at Sociological Research Online.
- Research interests
Greg's research is primarily informed by Medical Sociology and Science and Technology Studies. At heart, this research aims to explore the contemporary psy- and neuro-sciences and how these disciplines shape the social world.
Greg's work on autism has tried to understand how the condition came to be understood (within certain disciplines) as a form of ‘social disorder’ and sought to shown that neuroscience and biomedicine draw upon particular notions of the ‘social’ in order to make that claim. This research has a particular focus upon how autism is mediated through various forms of diagnostic, emerging, and mundane technologies.
In September 2018 Greg commenced a Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science, funded by the Wellcome Trust, entitled Hard Knock Life: Negotiating Concussion and Dementia in Sport. This project sought to explore the increasing anxiety about the risks associated with concussion suffered during sporting activities. Greg sought to consider how practitioners understand themselves, their brains, and their conduct given the possibility of brain injury and have done so through ethnographic fieldwork with three sporting communities (American football players, professional wrestlers, age-group soccer players). Further details on this project can be found here.
Greg's current project, funded via a Wellcome Trust University Award, continues to explore the relationship between traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration. There is increasing recognition that brain injuries (as experienced, for example, as a result of sport, military service, physical violence, falls, or car accidents) may result in a number of Alzheimer’s-like dementias. Depicting these dementias as having environmental causes has the potential to change the way scientists and medics classify, diagnosis, and treat these diseases. There may also be new attempts to regulate behaviours understood to cause brain injury by, for example, banning or limiting certain risky practices. This project investigates the social implications of these emerging medical sciences and compares how researchers in three very different disciplines (molecular neuroscience, neuropathology, and sports science) understand the role that the environment plays in dementia.
Finally, and through a number of collaboratory pieces, Greg has sought to explore the social world as something which is ‘more than human’ in its composition. This work has explored laboratory beagles and bed bug epidemics, as well as theoretical work in feminist technoscience.
- Estranged companions : bed bugs, biologies, and affective histories. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. View this article in WRRO
- Consider the woodpecker: the contested more-than-human ethics of biomimetic technology and traumatic brain injury. Social Studies of Science. View this article in WRRO
- “Learning to listen to them and ask the right questions.” Bennet Omalu, scientific objectivities, and the witnessing of a concussion crisis. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 3. View this article in WRRO
- Within a single lifetime: recent writings on autism. History of the Human Sciences, 33(5), 167-178. View this article in WRRO
- Making a murderer : media renderings of brain injury and Aaron Hernandez as a medical and sporting subject. Social Science & Medicine, 244. View this article in WRRO
- From the profound to the mundane : questionnaires as emerging technologies in autism genetics. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 44(4), 634-659. View this article in WRRO
- Abundance in the Anthropocene. The Sociological Review, 67(2), 357-373. View this article in WRRO
- Autism scientists' reflections on the opportunities and challenges of public engagement: a qualitative analysis.. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. View this article in WRRO
- The categorisation of resistance : interpreting failure to follow a proposed line of action in the diagnosis of autism amongst young adults. Sociology of Health & Illness, 40(7), 1215-1232. View this article in WRRO
- A feminist menagerie. Feminist Review, 118(1), 61-79. View this article in WRRO
- (Dis)entangling Barad : materialisms and ethics. Social Studies of Science, 47(6), 918-941. View this article in WRRO
- Both maker and writer: Steve Silberman and the history of autism. BioSocieties, 12(4), 635-640. View this article in WRRO
- Failing, hacking, passing : autism, entanglement, and the ethics of transformation. BioSocieties, 12(4), 611-633. View this article in WRRO
- Charisma and the clinic. Social Theory & Health, 15(2), 223-240. View this article in WRRO
- Autistic heterogeneity: linking uncertainties and indeterminacies. Science as Culture, 26(2), 209-231. View this article in WRRO
- Care, Laboratory Beagles and Affective Utopia. Theory, Culture & Society, 33(4), 27-49. View this article in WRRO
- Reply to 'Clarity of meaning in IPCC press conference'. Nature Climate Change, 5(11), 963-963.
- Infancy, autism, and the emergence of a socially disordered body. Social Science & Medicine, 143, 279-286.
- Tension between scientific certainty and meaning complicates communication of IPCC reports. Nature Climate Change, 5(8), 753-756.
- Constructing a social subject. History of the Human Sciences, 27(4), 98-115.
- Book Review: Martyn Pickersgill and Ira Van Keulen (eds), Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, 18(2), 217-219.
- Fight the (Bio)power. Science as Culture, 21(4), 566-572.
- The language and policy of care and parenting: Understanding the uncertainty about key players’ roles in foster care provision. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(11), 2198-2206.
- Cold Pressor Pain Reduces Phobic Fear But Fear Does Not Reduce Pain. The Journal of Pain, 10(10), 1058-1064.
- Niemowlęctwo, autyzm i pojawienie się społecznie zaburzonego ciała [Polish translation of: Hollin, GJS. & Pilnick, A. (2015). Infancy, autism, and the emergence of a socially disordered body. Social Science and Medicine, 143, 279-286.] In Witeska-Młynarczyk A (Ed.), Antropologia Psychiatrii Dzieci i Młodzieży: Teksty Wybrane [‘Anthropology of Psychiatry in Children and Adolescents: Selected Texts’]
- Laboratory beagles and affective co-productions of knowledge, Participatory Research in More-than-Human Worlds (pp. 163-177).
- Lockdown texts : The most important of the unimportant things. BioSocieties, 15(3), 472-474. View this article in WRRO
- Stephen T. Casper; Delia Gavrus (Editors). The History of the Brain and Mind Sciences: Technique, Technology, Therapy. Isis, 109(4), 861-862. View this article in WRRO
- Multiple autisms: spectrums of advocacy and genomic science. New Genetics and Society, 36(4), 404-405.
- Scull, A. Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine. London: Thames & Hudson. Sociology of Health and Illness, 39(6), 980-981. View this article in WRRO
- Brave New World: Eugenics, Discipline Formation, and the Biosocial. Science as Culture, 26(3), 413-417.
- View this article in WRRO Review: Thom van Dooren’s Flight Ways, New York: Columbia.. Somatosphere.
- View this article in WRRO Review: Jamie Lorimer, ‘Wildlife in the Anthropocene’. Theory, Culture and Society.
- To obey and to tell. History of the Human Sciences, 29(1), 123-127. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Martyn Pickersgill and Ira Van Keulen (eds), Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences.. Health.
- View this article in WRRO Fight the (Bio)Power.. Science as Culture, 21(4), 566-566.
- View this article in WRRO Review: Dan Dan Goodley, Disability and Other Human Questions.. International Journal of Disability and Social Justice..
- PhD Supervision
Previous PhD students have studied topics including policy making around cognitive enhancing drugs and the use of queer theory to understand autism spectrum conditions.