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Dr Stephen Hughes
Dr Stephen Hughes profile picture
  • Lecturer in Science, Technology and Society
  • Dept of Science & Technology Studies
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Dr Stephen Hughes is a Lecturer in Science, Technology and Society and Director of UCL's Responsible Innovation short course.

Stephen is fascinated by cases where responsible innovation and public engagement with science are characterised by discomfort, difficulty, and controversy. He approaches these cases with novel methods which seek to uncover and respond to the emotional and conflictual dimensions of science-society issues.

Stephen has spent the last couple of years building UCL's programme of responsible innovation. This includes the delivery of workshops and online courses to EPSRC-funded centres for doctoral training (CDTs) and the development of commercial short courses for industry which encourages organisations to ask difficult questions about equity, justice, and responsibility in science and innovation.

He teaches public engagement and responsible innovation to undergraduate and postgraduate students across faculties. Stephen is a member of the department's Equality and Equities Committee.

Stephen has a PhD and MSc in Science Communication from Dublin City University, where he explored public engagement with controversial technologies such as fracking.

Research Summary
Stephen's research looks at difficult and uncomfortable forms of public engagement with science. He is interested in developing modes of engagement that allow scientists and publics to confront rather than avoid the painful realities that characterise relationships between science and society.

Stephen is currently exploring the relationships between hype and conspiracy theories in augmented reality, extended reality, and touchless technologies.

Teaching Summary
Stephen is happy to discuss potential supervision with undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral students. He welcomes and especially encourages people from underrepresented and minoritised groups, to get in touch. Stephen takes student wellbeing and support seriously and will match your commitment with his.

Stephen is teaching the following for 2022-2023 terms:

Engaging the Public with Science (MSc)

Responsible Design for Engineering (BEng)

Science Communication and Social Justice (with Melanie Smallman) (MSc)

01-JAN-2022 Lecturer in Science, Technology and Society Science and Technology Studies UCL, United Kingdom
19-SEP-2019 Lecturer (Teaching) Responsible Innovation Science and Technology Studies UCL, United Kingdom
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