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Dr Ruth McNally

Formerly at Lancaster University

Ruth McNally

Career Details

BSc Hons Genetics (Nottingham)
PGCE (Nottingham)
MA Socio-Legal Studies (Brunel)
PhD Science and Technology Studies (UWE)


Dr. McNally researches innovation in the biosciences and technologies. She has published four books and undertaken research on forensic genomics, animal genetic engineering, biopatenting, environmental release of genetically modified organisms, and UK law on abortion for risk of handicap. She was Director of Bio-Information (International) Limited, and a consultant to Derwent on indexing biopatents before returning to academia to work at Brunel, Cardiff and then Lancaster Universities. She is an editorial board member of New Genetics and Society and Genomics, Society and Policy; and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the BBSRC Genome Analysis Centre. She is co-leader of Cesagen's Research Theme: Bioknowledge Economies, Publics, Sustainable Innovations and co-Director of Cesagen's Sociomics Core Facility.

Research overview

Her current research is on the phenomenon of digital data, with a focus on proteomics, next generation sequencing and environmental sensor networks. She is also interested in research methods and their performativity, both in the biosciences and the social sciences that study them. She coined the word 'sociomics' to denote a shift to post-ELSI engagements with genomics and related fields, and explores the possibilities and implications of this for social science analysis. This agenda is at the core of Cesagen's Sociomics Core Facility. She undertakes research with PROTEE, an STS 'tool' for the management of radical innovation projects.

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