William Illsey (Bill) Atkinson
Building on my background as a science writer and sci-fi novelist, I'm investigating the socio-cultural forces that led to the emergence of British science fiction in the late nineteenth century, particularly the 'sensation novel'. My supervisor is Bernie Lightman, York's latest Distinguished Research Professor.
Drew Danielle Belsky
Building on my training in fine arts (ESAD-Strasbourg) and interdisciplinary research in Fine Arts, Critical Disability Studies, and STS (York), my research interests revolve around bodies and visual production. Previous and ongoing projects address mobilizations of disabled bodies in contemporary art and aspects of consent in research and in art production. My doctoral work is primarily concerned with the practices, pedagogy, and professionalization of medical illustrators in Canada from the 20th century to the present. I am interested in the relevance of this under-documented predominantly female profession to the production and dissemination of canonical bodies in medicine and broader culture.
Though my interests are eclectic, I am generally critical of method. Because of this, I tend take greatest interest in works within the philosophy of science. My current research is directed to topics relevant within and around the rationality of science, under determination, realism, prediction, scientific change.
My interests in STS cluster around the histories and political economies of health, environment, and development, especially within postcolonial states and societies. Building on my previous work experience with international public health organisations, my dissertation traces the political and technical determinants of the 'discovery' of the diagnosis of MDR-TB (Multi Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis) in post-liberalisation India of the 1990s and 2000s. This project is situated within the larger theoretical frameworks of sociology of diagnosis and global health histories, as I trace the conduits by which disease concepts historically 'emerge' to inform global health agendas. I hold the Elia Scholarship from York University, which supports this work.
My research interests are broadly surrounding the anthropology and philosophy of biology and the ecological sciences, cartography, postcolonial and feminist STS, and environmental and medical humanities. My PhD project investigates implications of human-nature interactions as part of ecological research work. I seek to study how ecologists make sense of their field, their relationship with their non-human subjects and what that can tell us about ecologists' epistemological orientation to the biophysical environment, their understanding of ideas about human bodies, the environment, wellness and disease and ecological relationships at large.
Broadly, I’m interested in translational science and cancer biology, intellectual property, and the political economics of pharmaceutical development. Specifically, I’m studying the role played by open and proprietary mediating devices in the development of cancer therapeutics in Ontario. Given the continual need for refinements of research practices and the growing demand for novel cancer therapies, it’s worth examining the implications of open versus proprietary IP on the dynamics of research and development, and asking which is most conducive to increasing collaboration and innovation in the context of cancer research.
My research focuses on the history of modern technology and how it reflects and influences how we understand, see and seek the self. I consider both primary phenomena of how specific technologies have held particular sway over how we fashion the self, including photography, biometrics and self-tracking applications as well as secondary epiphenomena, for instance, the rhetorical similarities between how we talk about machines and ourselves with notions of potential, failure and objectivity.
My PhD research interests lie in a material which has always been on the periphery of my studies in Environment, Health and Culture, but never in the foreground: Plastic. Plastic is a slippery subject, as it is a diverse and evolving species of material. From the cellophane wrapper found on a pack of gum to the plastic and carbon fibre composites found in advanced prostheses, plastic has a diversity of uses and associations that are unparalleled in human history. Plastic is also, by way of BPA water bottles and can linings, present in most human and non–human bodies, causing largely unknown effects. Plastic is therefore a good material to think with when it comes to the fuzzy boundaries between the human/object; trash/not–trash world. Through theoretical engagements with Actor–Network Theory, post-humanism and the culture of everyday life, I want to document plastic’s fall from grace: from the revolutionary and utopian material of the early 20th century to the reviled and despised material of today.
My research is on online fanfiction communities, more specifically on disabled fans and fanfiction producers who contribute to disability representation and accessibility. My interests in fanfiction and fans have evolved from ongoing work in cultural analysis of disability narrative in popular culture, especially TV shows, to transform into a concern for how they were being taken up by audiences through new media and participatory cultural practices, as well as from my long-time love of fanfiction, as a disabled fan myself. I started my research project during my Masters, and in my doctoral studies, I am further developing it through an examination of how technologies and the development of online community standards around accessibility contribute to the development of disability narratives and identities in fanfiction communities. I use theoretical frameworks and insights from Critical Disability Studies, fan studies and STS to examine the significance of disabled fans and fanfiction producers to developing the presence of disability as subversive political embodiment in digital environments.
My research concerns technoscientific cultures of synthetic sound. Examining the histories, development, and dissemination of electronic music technologies and their attendant practices, I explore the capacities of synthetic sound to influence human and non-human capacities to relate, act, respond, feel, and experience. Such modulations are not limited to the sensorial or aesthetic realm, but propagate through the social, the ecological, and the ethical. My dissertation is methodologically multimodal, availing of ethnographic, philosophical, and practice-based methods.
My doctoral research contextualizes the development of the ‘Body Farm’ at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and seeks to understand how the public image and media work of William M. Bass, the facility’s founder, has contributed to popular understandings of modern forensic anthropology. Beyond my project I work as the Manuscripts Coordinator for the John Tyndall Correspondence Project.
My areas of interest are the political economy of technoscience, critical innovation studies, communication studies, postcolonial and indigenous science and technology, and feminist technoscience. My current research is at the intersection of technology and social justice focused on technological convergence and artificial intelligence, Blockchain, and the digital platform economy.
My research interests include anthropology, cultural and media studies, and critical pedagogy. Currently, I am focused on the engineering profession and engineers’ work to regulate themselves, other professionals, engineering businesses, engineering professional bodies, and engineering education institutions in Canada. By focusing on professional regulation, my research captures the wide and varied scope of engineering practice under the singular term “engineering” in a way that clarifies what it is that engineers actually do. My research connects this idea to public perception and understanding of engineering (through film and media studies) and the contemporary reevaluation of Canadian engineering education. Building on my background in civil engineering, I am working with York University’s new Lassonde School of Engineering to complete my research.
My research in the history of classification and the human sciences aims to detail the interactions between the built-environment, 'human kinds' and cognitive developments in the sciences. In particular, I am interested in the influence of 'place-based services' on modalities of care in Canada.
My research interests include the history of computer mediated communication technologies and the production of gendered textual bodies; social networking technologies and the ways in which socially networked bodies transgress the material and the virtual divide; and the material effects of the textualization of life.
My research primarily examines how the Canadian state, via select research institutions, constructed and deployed technoscientific expertise—in particular, atomic expertise—as a geopolitical force and as a means of identity formulation and state expansion during the early to mid Cold War. How was value in this form of expertise developed and how was it deployed on a domestic and global scale? Secondarily, I am interested in the existence of and shifts/tensions within Canada’s atomic cultural history, narratives, and imaginaries as they present within the Canadian socio-cultural mindset. In addition to being a doctoral student within the Science & Technology Studies program, I am also a Graduate Research Associate within the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies. Prior to this, I received an Honours Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Bioinformatics & AI) and a Master of Arts in Science & Technology Studies.
My research investigates how robots are being designed to touch humans in elderly care settings, focusing on how physical contact is used to shape emotional intimacy and affect feelings of loneliness. I draw upon phenomenology, feminist theory, critical design theory, and studies in human-robot interaction.
Katelyn Wan Fei Ma
My PhD research explores the preventive measures and early detection of cyber financial crimes. The key topics of my research include understanding: cyber-criminology with classical sociological theories; high-risk financial depletion channels such as blockchain and cryptocurrency; machine learning in recognizing fraud trends and attack patterns; fraud losses through artificial intelligence capacities; digital evidence for the policing of cyberspace; recommending effective policies and strategies using applicable cyber-victimology; and mitigating Internet-based risks via cyber-insurance.
Francesc Rodriguez Mansilla
I have quite a few research interests, from history to philosophy to the sociology of science, but most of my work has focused on the relation between science and the rest of society. In the earliest years of my academic studies, I considered the technicalities of participatory mechanisms in science at the institutional level (e.g. science shops). Later, I broadened the scope of my research to investigate, in normative terms, the pedagogical and political implications of these and other forms of knowledge production to the interrelated spheres of nature and society. In my PhD dissertation, I draw on socio-technical and environmental imaginaries to explore the various roles played by science and other forms of knowledge in a controversy over construction plans for several run-of-the-river power plants in southern Costa Rica.
Cameron Michael Murray
I have a broad range of interdisciplinary research interests that combine methodological approaches to media studies, STS, and the anthropology of science. These interests include: large-scale genomics and proteomics research projects in Canada; the use of virtual reality technologies in biomedical research; and the social and ethical implications of Canada's biomedical research funding infrastructures. For my proposed doctoral research, I will undertake a multi-sited ethnography that explores the social, cultural, political and economic contexts in which human bodies, biomedical databases, visualization technologies, and clinical environments are being reimagined and reconfigured by bioinformaticians working in the emerging cross-disciplinary field of translational science. I am particularly interested in exploring how bioinformaticians determine what is worthy of ethical care and attention in diverse sites of translational research.
Lina Pinto Garcia
Drawing on my background in biology (BSc), biotechnology (MSc), science communication (graduate diploma), and STS (MA), my PhD research focuses on the intersection between biomedicine, public health, violence and the aspirational logics of peacebuilding. Specifically, I ethnographically study the relationship between a vector-borne disease–cutaneous leishmaniasis–and the Colombian armed conflict, and the implications for combatants and civilians coexisting with warfare. My dissertation is situated between two interrelated fields of social research: critical medical anthropology and STS. Across them, three subfields frame my project: (1) Anthropology of the state; (2) Embodiments of war and violence; and (3) Multispecies ethnography of vector-borne diseases. In addition, I am interested in transdisciplinary approaches to science, such as community-based participatory research, aiming to produce scientific knowledge and applications that are attentive and responsive to the needs of marginalized populations.
I am a Board Director of Science for Peace (Canada), and the Chair of a pan-university research-working group on Ocean Frontiers under Science for Peace. Am also serving currently as an honorary council member of the International Peace Bureau (Geneva); and was previously the honorary Chair of ASEAN Secretariat Women’s Wing (ASEAN) 2009-2011. Recently, I have been contracted as a Course Director at York for the following undergraduate courses: ‘Science and Technology Issues in Global Development’ (Dept. of Science & Technology Studies), ‘Natural Resource Management’ (Environmental Studies), and ‘History of the Environment’ (Natural Science). I have also been included as part of a working group member of an international research caucus on Science, Technology and Art in International Relations (STAIR), chartered in the U.S. under the International Studies Association, and also a member of the Extractive Industries Research Network. My educational background is in Science & Technology Studies, International Law and International Development. My former degrees are from the University of Oxford and Cornell. I have received the Vivienne-Poy Award for doctoral research on Asia in 2016, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for doctoral research in 2014, and the Rhodes scholarship in 1992. My previous work experience spans public communications, community outreach, and corporate social responsibility consulting. After getting back to academia, my research focus is on the S & T of transboundary infrastructure development, particularly those concerning maritime regions, peace regimes, regional and international security. My publications include a book of poems, research based articles on the socio-politics of Southeast Asia, and on the S & T of artificial island constructions.
My basic fields of interest are the history of medicine, environmental psychology, and landscape architecture. In particular I study the role of nature and landscapes in western medicine, from the nineteenth century to the present, focusing on patterns of rejection and resurgence in this 150 year time frame in the context of professionalization and boundary-work disputes. My dissertation is currently titled Gardens as Medical Technology: The use of gardens and landscapes as a technique of healing in Western medicine, 19th – 21st centuries.
My research interests include biopolitics; nuclear technologies; feminist theory; classification practices; materiality and identity formation. Working under the supervision of Professor Aryn Martin, my research explores these interests by examining the spatial arrangements and narratives enacted by Canadian nuclear medical infrastructures. As an anthropologist I employ an ethnographic mode of analysis that is attentive to the complex ways in which various groups seize upon scientific results and nuclear bio technologies to advance competing and overlapping goals within shifting political landscapes.
Callum C. J. Sutherland
My forthcoming dissertation, “Sockeye at the boundary: Aboriginal knowledge, the Great Divide, and the Calgary School”, explores the precipitous, decades-long decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon in general, and the proceedings of the ensuing judicial inquiry in particular (i.e., the Cohen Commission). These proceedings, I will argue, both reflected and reified the primacy of abstract conceptions of sockeye, while simultaneously acknowledging and discrediting local conceptions of the same. I will demonstrate that, absent these local perspectives, our present understanding of the sockeye salmon crisis is incomplete at best. It is partially on this basis that I will contend, more broadly, that democratization should be treated as an essential component of, and not an impediment to, the development of equitable, judicious, and effective public science policy.