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Professor Vicky Singleton

Professor in Science and Technology Studies, Director

Vicky Singleton

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 592499

Research overview

My current research programme explores Care-in-Practice

As part of this programme I have co-edited a Sociological Review Monograph titled Care and Policy Practices (2017) that explores the following questions:

  • How do the practices of policy produce particular subjects and objects?
  • How do policy and care, in intimate everyday social-material practices, and across diverse domains, distribute rights and resources?
  • How might policy be enacted in ways that are care-full and appreciative of practices and contexts? 

The research programme is developing a network of researchers to explore concerns about policy and about care as failing. Policies designed to protect, and to nurture can inadvertently harbour and promote relations of harm. Recent research on care as socio-technical and relational is proving productive in thinking through diverse policy-related domains. In particular the monograph explores how policy could attend to those things often neglected, harmed or made invisible and how to sensitize policy to inevitable incommensurate knowledges and excesses.

My current empirical projects develop this research programme:

Living with Dying explores professional and lay experiences of end of life care in a Hospice and Hospice at home service. The project identifies and promotes improvements that can be made to care practice and articulates practices of good care.  

Being a digitised cancer patient explores how care is impacted for patients and practitioners in relation to the introduction of digital patient information. The aim is to articulate the issues and practices that are not picked up with usual forms of evaluation. 


Professional affiliations

European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) Elected member of Council (2015 -)

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

Association for Studies in Innovation Science and Technology (AsSIST-UK) Member of the Executive Committee and the Strategic Advisory Group (2015-)


Advisory Bodies (recent and current)

2018  Review Panel Member, Academy of Finland.

2018  Ziman Award Committee, EASST (for outstanding public engagement)

2017- External Examiner Science Technology and Innovation Studies MA programmes, University of Edinburgh

2015-  Executive Board UK Association for Studies in Innovation, Science and Technology (AsSIST-UK).

2015-  Elected member of Council of European Association for the Social Studies of Science and Technology (EASST),

2015-  EASST Director of publications

2016   Chair of Ziman Award Committee, EASST (for outstanding public engagement)

2001-07  Project Steering Committee, Women’s Choice and Caesarean Delivery by Maternal Request, Liverpool Women’s Hospital.


Editorial Boards

EASST Review (March 2015-)

Science and Technology Studies (March 2015-)

International appointment committees: Copenhagen University, Denmark 6/2014, Aalborg University, Denmark 9/2016.

Regular reviewer of research applications: I receive regular invitations from ERC and ESRC to review applications. Review panel for Academy of Finland Research Project and Fellowship Awards (02/18 and 02/19).

Regular reviewer of papers for academic journals: Social Studies of Science; Science, Technology and Human Values; Social Science and Medicine; Sociology of Health and Illness; Organisation; Environment and Planning D and review book manuscripts (e.g. for Manchester University Press)

PhD supervision

I welcome research students and have supervised 22 students researching in a range of substantive areas. I am especially interested in students researching how policy is done in locations of practice and also in how care is done in practice. I have worked with several care practitioners seeking research qualifications. I am interested in and have expertise in qualitative research including ethnography, participant observation, interviews, and textual analysis in the form of detailed case studies. I am keen to work with stduents and collaborators to articulate and to appreciate the work of practice of care interventions, programmes, policies, technologies, systems and guidelines.

Research Interests

Key Words

Materiality, practices, care, technoscience, feminist theory, health, medicine, policy, gender constitution and enactment, standardization and generalisation, science and technology studies, (after) actor-network theory.


General Research Activities

I am an interdisciplinary scholar, bringing feminist theory and methods together with sociological and cultural perspectives to study health, medicine, science and technology. I work within the discipline of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and its sub-discipline Science, Technology and Medicine Studies (STM). 

My work has contributed to the development and growth of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) - a major and influential approach to STS that is widely used in numerous disciplines including organisational studies, health and medicine studies, social psychology, empirical philosophy, history, sociology and feminist studies. My work put ANT into conversation with feminist method and theory. My ANT inspired approach explores care as situated entanglements of non-human and human actors and explores the implications of this for fostering and supporting the best possible care practices. 

Prior to my academic career I trained as a Registered General Nurse and I work with professional practitioners, service users and activists in order to contribute to policy and concrete practice as well as to theory. I carry out qualitative studies of doing care and policy on the ground: the research explores the complexities of practice essential to good care, but which often escape the managerial or policy-oriented approaches. 

My current research projects are: 

2018 -  Being a digitised cancer patient (with Professor Pierre Martin-Hirsch and Lancashire Acute Hospitals Trust, linked to an ESRC CASE Award and a Swedish International Visiting Researcher Grant)

2017 -  Living with Dying: palliative care (with Dr Steve Mee and and hospice staff and clients)

Previous projects:

2010 - 2016  Compassion in practice (with Dr Steve Mee, University of Cumbria and local community)

2007 - 2010  The impact of the Cattle Tracing System on the care work of farmers (with Fylde and Wyre farmers)

2001 - 2007   Women’s choice and Caesarean Section (with Liverpool Women’s Hospital and an NHS Fellow, Dr Carol Kingdon)

1999 - 2003   Training healthy citizens: CPR in the community (with Heart of Lancashire Charity)

1998 - 2000   The care trajectory of patients with Alcoholic Liver Disease (with Dr Peter Isaacs and a local acute Hospital Trust)

1999 - 2001   Sickness Absence at a District Land Registry (with Dr Anne Grinyer and HM Land Registry)


External student funding

  • Eight ESRC Collaborative studentships (CASE Awards) and 4 NHS funded studentships.
  • 3ESRC studentships, 2 AHRC studentships, 1 NERC studentship
  • Oversees funding including Mexican, Canadian, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese Governments.


Current Teaching

I teach modules/lectures concerning gender, feminism and society, and science and technology and society, at all levels of the undergraduate and postgraduate programme in Sociology.


GWS 101    Gender and Women's Studies: Identities, Inequalities and Politics (First year course, Director and Lecturer)

SOCL 314   Feminism and Social Change (Third year module, Course convenor and Lecturer) 


SOCL 406   Feminist Technoscience Studies (Course convenor and Lecturer).

SOCL 906   The Social Life of Science and Technology: Theories and Debates (Course convenor and Lecturer) 

SOCL 931    Methods in Science and Technology Studies (Lecturer) 

Doctoral/Research Student Workshops: 

I have taught numerous international and national research student workshops

08/15     ANT, Policy and multiplicity, TANT LAB, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark.

10/13     Gender, Nature and Society, University of Tampere, Finland.

04/13     An Introduction to Feminist Technoscience Studies of Reproduction, ReACH Midwifery Cluster, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

12-16     Feminist Technoscience Studies Summer School, Lancaster University (Course convenor and Lecturer, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)

03/05     Science Studies School, Science Studies Opens the Black Box, Prague, Czech Republic.  

05/04     Research Seminar Series, Department of Midwifery Studies, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.

11/03     Medicine, Technologies and Practices, Linköping University, Sweden.

06/02     Bodies, Technologies and Health, Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Norway.

05/01     Bodies, Medicine and Health, Centre for the Sociology of Innovation, L’Ecole des Mines, Paris, France.

PhD Supervision

I currently supervise 7 PhD students:

Toby Atkinson, Alan Connolly, Aniela Bylinski Gelder, Emily Hoyle, Andy Yuille, Leah de Quattro, Clare Rotherham. 

I have supervised 22 PhD students and 2 MPhil students to successful completion.I have worked with 7 visiting research students in recent years and will welcome a further student in 2019.

Post-Doctoral Mentees: I have mentored several researchers in recent years including Dr Yunxia Wu (China Scholarship Council, 2014-15). I will welcome Dr Lisa Linden (Swedish International Visiting Research Grant, 2019-21 ).

Examining Duties

I am External Examiner for the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies MA programmes, University of Edinburgh.

I have examined 28 PhDs: 13 as internal examiner and 15 as external examiner (in UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Australia).

Past teaching experience

Undergraduate: I have developed and taught a large number of undergraduate courses, including on study skills. I contributed to the Lancaster University Effective Learning Programme for many years. 

Postgraduate TeachingI convened and taught the core module for the Women’s Studies MA programme Doing Feminist Research for many years. I obtained ESRC and AHRC recognition for Women's Studies MA and MRes programmes. I co-developed the long standing MA in Science and Technology Studies and I remain responsible for the core module, Science, Technology and Society. 

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