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

Innogen · People

Ms. Heather Lowrie

Innogen Postgraduate Student


+44(0)131 651 4274


+44(0)131 651 4278




ESRC Innogen Centre, University of Edinburgh, Old Surgeons' Hall, High School Yards, Edinburgh, EH1 1LZ


Heather’s main research interests are in issues surrounding knowledge and governance of risk and uncertainty. Her doctoral research is on emerging risks in the insurance industry. This project is based on the application of science and technology studies (STS) and economic anthropology and sociology to insurance markets. She recently worked on an ESRC-funded placement, exploring how decisions are made about risk in the London market. 

Heather’s general research interests include the governance of emerging technologies and the interactions between legal systems, market practices and innovation processes. She is working on the Technology Strategy Board Regenerative Medicine Programme REALISE project at Innogen with Prof. Joyce Tait, Dr. James Mittra, Dr. Michele Mastroeni and Dr. Ken Snowden. She has previously worked on Risk Governance of Synthetic Biology with Prof. Joyce Tait for the International Risk Governance Council.

Heather holds an undergraduate degree in law and postgraduate degrees in social anthropology, science and technology studies and information technology. Her professional background is in the financial services industry.


Peer-reviewed publications

Lowrie H, Tait J (2010), 'Guidelines for the Appropriate Risk Governance of Synthetic Biology'. Geneva: International Risk Governance Council

Lowrie H (2010), 'Balancing Benefits and Risks of Synthetic Biology'. Washington, DC: American Institute of Biological SciencesLowrie H, Tait J (2009), 'Risk Governance of Synthetic Biology'. Geneva: International Risk Governance Council

Recent presentations

Lowrie, H and Mittra, J ‘Business Models and Value Systems for Regenerative Medicine Therapies’. ISSTI retreat, North Berwick. 13 June 2010Lowrie H, 'Behaviour, Organisation and Culture in the Underwriting Business'. Catlin Group, London. 26 May 2011Mittra J, Lowrie H, Tait J and Mastroeni M, 'Overcoming the Translational Gap in Commercialisation of Stem Cell Therapies'. Regenerative Medicine in Europe (REMEDiE) Conference, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao. 18-19 April 2011 Lowrie H, 'Governance Challenges in Synthetic Biology'. Six Academies' Symposium 'The Economic and Social Life of Synthetic Biology', Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, London. 13-14 April 2011Lowrie H, 'Material Relations of Risk'. Department of Actuarial Mathematics & Statistics, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. 7 April 2011Lowrie H, 'The Appropriate Risk Governance of Synthetic Biology'. DSTL and Australian and Canadian Counsellors Defence Science, University of Edinburgh. 18 March 2011Lowrie H, 'Risky Decisions: A view from the social sciences'. Catlin Group, London. 17th June 2010Lowrie H, 'Symmetrical Connections: From STS to (re)insurance'. ISSTI retreat, Alnwick. 15th June 2010Lowrie H, 'Risk Governance of Synthetic Biology'. International Risk Governance Council, Geneva. 26th October 2009

Consultation responses

Lowrie H, Tait J (2010), 'ESRC Innogen Centre Response to Request for Comments on Synthetic Biology' (invited response to the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues)

Lowrie, H (2011), ‘Trading Risk: Behaviour, Organisation and Culture in the Underwriting Process’ (report for Catlin Group, London)

Research Interests

Risk; financial markets; insurance markets; social studies of finance; performativity; sociology of knowledge; law and regulation.