I originally was a research chemist working in the automotive industry and then in environmental protection. After studying at the Open University, I returned to full time higher education to complete a PhD at Lancaster University. After this, I worked at the MRC Medical Sociology Unit, Glasgow University, where I spent a period on secondment to the MRC Public Communications Group in London. This was followed by a period working as a medical sociologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2005 I took up a post in the Department of Sociology at the Open University.
I have research interests in Science and Technology Studies especially as applied to issues of health and medicine. I conducted a historical study examining the cultural turn towards the sun and sunlight in early twentieth-century Europe. This research provides an analysis of the roles that sunlight played in the mediation of such notions as health, pleasure, the body, gender and class. I also have conducted research into critical approaches to the public understanding of science as applied to health issues. I have research interests in the impact of wearables and digital health.
I was Co-Chair on the production of Making social worlds: security, conduct and attachment (DD308). I worked on the production of a new PG foundation module "Principals of Social and Psychological Inquiry" (D801). I currently Chair of a new sociology module in production, 'Understanding Digital Societies' (DD218), due to be presented for the first time in the autumn of 2021.
I am The Managing Editor of the BSA-funded "Cost of Living Blog" about-about the politics, economics and sociology of health in times of austerity.