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Dr Simon Carter

Profile summary

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Professional biography

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.

Research interests

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.​

Teaching interests

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.

Impact and engagement

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.


[Editorial] Pandemics, infection control and social justice: challenges for policy evaluation (2022-02)
Speed, Ewen; Carter, Simon and Green, Judith
Critical Public Health, 32(1) (pp. 44-47)

Digital technologies and the biomedicalisation of everyday activities: the case of walking and cycling (2018-04-18)
Carter, Simon; Speed, Ewen and Green, Judith
Sociology Compass, 12, Article e12572(4)

Doctors in space (ships): biomedical uncertainties and medical authority in imagined futures (2016-11-24)
Henderson, Lesley and Carter, Simon
Medical Humanities, 42(4) (pp. 277-282)

The domestication of an everyday health technology: a case study of electric toothbrushes (2013-11)
Carter, Simon; Green, Judith and Thorogood, Nicki
Social Theory and Health, 11 (pp. 344-367)

Biosecurity and the topologies of infected life: from borderlines to borderlands (2013-10)
Hinchliffe, Steve; Allen, John; Lavau, Stephanie; Bingham, Nick and Carter, Simon
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 38(4) (pp. 531-543)

The medicalization of sunlight in the early twentieth century (2012-03-01)
Carter, Simon
Journal of Historical Sociology, 25(1) (pp. 83-105)

Michael Marmot: facts, opinions and affairs du coeur (2009-08-01)
Carter, Simon
International Journal of Epidemiology, 38(4) (pp. 914-916)

General practitioners' perceptions of chronic fatigue syndrome and beliefs about its management, compared with irritable bowel syndrome: qualitative study (2004-06)
Raine, Rosalind; Carter, Simon; Sensky, Tom and Black, Nick
British Medical Journal, 328 (pp. 1354-1357)

An experimental study of determinants of group judgments in clinical guideline development (2004)
Raine, Rosalind; Sanderson, Colin; Hutchings, Andrew; Carter, Simon; Larkin, Kirsten and Black, Nick
The Lancet, 364(9432) (pp. 429-437)

Signifying across time and space: a case study of biomedical educational texts (2003-03)
Carter, Simon and Michael, Mike
Sociology of Health and Illness, 25(2) (pp. 232-259)

The facts about fictions and vice versa: public understanding of human genetics (2001)
Michael, Mike and Carter, Simon
Science as Culture, 10(1) (pp. 5-32)

Understanding Digital Societies (2021-04)
Perriam, Jessamy and Carter, Simon
ISBN : 9781529732573 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London

Pathological Lives: Disease, Space and Biopolitics (2016-12-10)
Hinchliffe, Steve; Bingham, Nick; Allen, John and Carter, Simon
RGS-IBG Book Series
ISBN : 978-1-118-99759-8 | Publisher : John Wiley and Sons | Published : Chichester

Rise and Shine: Sunlight, Technology and Health (2007-04)
Carter, Simon
ISBN : 9781845201319 | Publisher : Berg Publishers Ltd | Published : Oxford, UK

Leagues of sunshine: sunlight, health and the environment (2012-12-01)
Carter, Simon
In: Gorsky, Martin and Berridge, Virgina eds. Environment Health and History (pp. 94-112)
ISBN : 9780230233119 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : London

Health and security (2008)
Carter, Simon and Davey Smith, George
In: Carter, Simon; Jordan, Timothy and Watson, Sophie eds. Security: Sociology and social worlds (pp. 145-178)
ISBN : 9780719078118 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK

Here comes the sun: shedding light on the cultural body (2003-10)
Carter, Simon and Michael, Mike
In: Thomas, Helen and Ahmed, Jamilah eds. Cultural bodies: ethnography and theory (pp. 260-282)
ISBN : 631225846 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK

Security: Sociology and social worlds (2008)
Carter, Simon; Jordan, Tim and Watson, Sophie eds.
ISBN : 9780719078118 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK

Conduct: Sociology and social worlds (2008)
McFall, Liz; Du Gay, Paul and Carter, Simon eds.
ISBN : 9780719078132 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK

The Mercy: Mental Health, Seafaring and Mythical Voyages (2018-02-27)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

The Doctors’ Trial: 70 years on from the Nuremberg Code (2017-11-01)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

Forensic Architecture and Violence (2017-07-27)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

Three Weeks in June and One Night in November (2016-12-14)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

‘Narcos’ and the ‘War on Drugs’ (2016-10-05)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

Scientists (mis)understanding the public(s), again! (2016-03-09)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

Watching the Detectives: Epigenetics and Ethics (2015-11-27)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

Public Health and Behaviour Change: from naïve sociology to naïve psychology (2015-09-04)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

We are all Dr Strangelove now (2015-02-20)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog, UK.

Abandoned but not forgotten: hospitals, decay and urban exploration (2014-11-28)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

Lazing on a sunny afternoon? A historical perspective on risk and sunlight (2014-04-04)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog

‘BREAKING BAD’: markets, healthcare and drug money (2014-01-31)
Carter, Simon
Cost of Living Blog