Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Professor Anne Kerr

Professor of Sociology; Head of School

I work in the fields of science and technology studies and the sociology of health and illness, with a special focus upon gender, genetics and biomedicine. I am Director of the Centre for Health, Technologies and Social Practice and Head of School.

Research Interests

I currently hold a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award in Society and Ethics (2015-2020), jointly with Sarah Cunningham-Burley (Edinburgh) where we are researching how patienthood is changing in the post-genomics era, focusing in particular upon cancer.

I have researched and written widely on the social and ethical aspects of science and technology, especially with respect to issues of public understanding and engagement with genetics and professional discourses of responsibility and choice. I have ongoing research and writing projects on responsible innovation, affect, emotions, work and care in bioscience and medicine.


I contribute to undergraduate and MA teaching on gender, health and illness. I have taught a range of courses on science, medicine and ethics as well as research methodology with a particular focus on qualitative methods and research impact.

PhD Supervision

I supervise students working on the following subjects.

  • Gender
  • Reproduction
  • Science & Technology
  • Medicine

Key Publications

Journal articles

  • Kerr A, Cunningham-Burley S, ‘Embodied innovation and regulation of medical technoscience: transformations in cancer patienthood’, Law, Innovation and Technology, 7.2 (2015), 187-205
    DOI: 10.1080/17579961.2015.1106103, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/97687/

  • Kerr EA, Garforth L, ‘Affective practices, care and bioscience: a study of two laboratories’, The Sociological Review 2015
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-954X.12310, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/83823/

  • Kerr EA, ‘Body work in assisted conception; Exploring private and public settings’, Sociology of Health and Illness, 35 (2013), 465-478
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2012.01502.x

  • Garforth L, Kerr EA, ‘Interdisciplinarity and the social sciences: capital, institutions and autonomy’, British Journal of Sociology, 62.4 (2011), 657-676
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-4446.2011.01385.x, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/43374/

  • Garforth L, Kerr A, ‘Let’s Get Organised: practicing and valuing scientific work inside and outside the laboratory’, Sociological Research Online, 15.2 (2010)
    DOI: 10.5153/sro.2146

  • Kerr EA, Woods B, Nettleton S, Burrows R, ‘Testing for Food Intolerance: New Markets in the Age of Biocapital’, Biosocieties, 4 (2009), 3-24
    DOI: 10.1017/S1745855209006401

  • Kerr EA, ‘A Problem Shared …? Teamwork, Autonomy and Error in Assisted Conception’, Social Science and Medicine, 69 (2009), 1741-1749
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.09.045

  • Kerr EA, ‘Assisted conception and the audit culture’, Human Fertility (Cambridge), 11.1 (2008), 9-16

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