1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Genomics Forum · People

Dr. Christine Knight

Genomics Forum Senior Policy Research Fellow


BA(Hons) PhD


0131 651 4743






St John's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ


I began work at the University of Edinburgh in June 2008, at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum. From June 2013 I will be a visiting researcher in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies.

My background is in literary studies, more recently moving into cultural and food studies. I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1st class) and PhD in English, both from the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

I have a longstanding interest in interdisciplinarity and engagement with audiences outside the humanities and social sciences, including policymakers, scientists and the general public. For my PhD I received joint support from, and was based at, the Human Nutrition Division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Before joining the University of Edinburgh I worked in government and parliamentary research in South Australia.

Current work

My current projects span the following topics, integrating research and knowledge exchange in their design and outputs:

  • Nostalgia and primitivism in contemporary nutritional thought, and how these relate to genetic and evolutionary models of obesity and diabetes
  • The regulation of embryo research and assisted reproductive technologies in the UK
  • Knowledge brokers and knowledge exchange in the social sciences
  • What Scientists Read: How does literature influence scientific thought and practice?


Journal articles

(with C Lightowler) “Sustaining knowledge exchange and research impact in the social sciences and humanities: Investing in knowledge broker roles in UK universities.” Evidence & Policy 9.3 (forthcoming).

(with M Smith) “The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.” New Genetics and Society 32.2 (2013).

"An alliance with Mother Nature": Natural food, health and morality in low-carbohydrate diet books. Food and Foodways 20.2 (2012).

Indigenous nutrition research and the low-carbohydrate diet movement: explaining obesity and diabetes in Protein Power. Continuum 26.2 (2012).

“Most people are simply not designed to eat pasta”: evolutionary explanations for obesity in the low-carbohydrate diet movement Public Understanding of Science 20.5 (2011).

If you’re not allowed to have rice, what do you have with your curry?”: nostalgia and tradition in low-carbohydrate diet discourse and practice Sociological Research Online 16.2 (2011).

(with C Lightowler) Reflections of “knowledge exchange professionals” in the social sciences: emerging opportunities and challenges for university-based knowledge brokers Evidence & Policy 6.4 (2010).

Ada’s piano-playing in Jane Campion’s The Piano: genteel accomplishment or Romantic self-expression? Australian Feminist Studies vol. 21 no. 49 (March 2006).

Book chapters

Nostalgia and authenticity in low-carbohydrate dieting. In Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2005. Ed. Richard Hosking. Totnes, Devon: Prospect Books, 2006.

“The food nature intended you to eat”: low-carbohydrate diets and primitivist philosophy. In The Atkins Diet and Philosophy. Ed. Lisa Heldke, Kerri Mommer, and Cynthia Pineo. Chicago: Open Court, 2005.

Edited collections

(with C Lyall) Knowledge brokers in the social sciences. Special issue of Evidence & Policy 9.3 (forthcoming).

(with M Smith) The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Special issue of New Genetics and Society 32.2 (2013).