IntroductionSteve Yearley, Director of the ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum has been named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), today (Monday 1 March 2010).
Steve has been elected for his interdisciplinary research on the social aspects of science and technology and for his innovative work in engaging citizens with policy issues relating to the environmental and life sciences. Each new fellow is chosen by a rigorous four-stage selection process and must be recognised within their peer group as having achieved excellence in their work.
Professor Yearley commented:
"I am truly thrilled by this honour. To date, not many social scientists have been made Fellows of the RSE and I am delighted to have my work recognised in this way. At the same time I am very happy for the ESRC Genomics Forum; the Forum has a unique role as a hub for cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange and I’m certain that this honour reflects very positively on the Forum and on the efforts of the whole team there."
Professor Yearley, MA (Cantab & Oxon), PhD (York), joined Edinburgh in 2005 as the Professor of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. He is primarily interested in social aspects of science and technology, and in environmental sociology. He is particularly concerned with areas where these specialisms overlap: for example in environmental controversies with a pronounced scientific element (such as with recent disputes over the safety or otherwise of GMOs and the emerging concerns around synthetic biology).
Additionally, Steve is closely involved in training PhD students and currently has graduate students working on a variety of topics including environmental modelling, conservation controversies, nuclear power and the ‘risk society’ in China, and environmental education.
The ESRC Genomics Forum, based at the University of Edinburgh, is an innovative knowledge exchange organisation pioneering new ways to promote social research on the contemporary life sciences. As part of the ESRC Genomics Network (EGN), the Forum acts to integrate the diverse strands of social science research within and beyond the EGN; to develop links between social scientists and scientists working across the entire range of genomic science and technology; and to connect research in this area to policy makers, business, the media and civil society in the UK and abroad.Steve has been closely involved – initially through the Wellcome Trust – with work on social aspects of human genetics and with social science questions relating to bioethics. When he first arrived in Edinburgh he was appointed Senior Professorial Fellow of the Genomics Forum. In September 2006 Steve took over as the Director of the Forum on full-time secondment from Sociology.