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Dr Simon Lock
  • Associate Professor
  • Dept of Science & Technology Studies
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
UCL Principal Supervisor,UCL Subsidiary Supervisor

Simon J Lock is an Associate Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London. His research focuses on science in public, the governance of science, and the sociology of new technologies. 


His focus is interdisciplinary examining the public dimensions of science and technology from sociological, historical and policy-related perspectives. Past work has largely focused on the public understanding of science, science communication, public engagement with science and technology. More recent work considers the policy dimensions of new technologies and the co-construction of science and sexualities. 


Current funded research projects include INGRAINED an RCUK grant (held jointly between STS, OVPR and the Public Engagement Unit) which is exploring how to widen decision-making on research strategies within UCL beyond traditional experts. He recently concluded a large ESRC funded project on public consultation, knowledge and nationally significant infrastructure projects. He has also worked on projects concerned with public engagement with science and technology for the Royal Society, the RSA and the Government Office of Science and has worked for the Wellcome Trust on researcher attitudes to public engagement.

Research Summary

My research interests focuses on the science communication, public engagement with research, the governance of science, sociology of new technology and science in public. Currently my research falls into three broad areas:


Governance of new technologies

I have just concluded my role as a Co-investigator on an ESRC funded project on the role of public evidence in nationally significant energy infrastructure projects. This was a two and a half year multidisciplinary project which follows on from previous work in this area. From 2012 - 2015 I was part of a multidisciplinary research team working on a UCL Grand Challenges/Public Policy commission project on the Governance of Climate Change Technologies.


Public understanding of, and engagement with, science and technology

I spent over a decade studying the history and sociology of the public understanding of science movement in the UK and its impact on science policy. My research interests today particularly focus on public engagement with science and more recently ideas of research impact.


My current RCUK grant (held jointly with OVPR and the Public Engagement Unit) is exploring how local community groups and wider stakeholders think about university research and how engaging with these groups has the potential to influence the way research priorities are set within UCL. 


Science and Sexualities

I have also conducted research with Dr Angela Cassidy (Exeter) and Dr Georgina Voss (UCL/SPRU) on the display and representations of sex and sexualities in the museum setting, with an examination of the Sexual Natures exhibition at the Natural History Museum.


I am currently exploring further the relationship between scientific research and sexualities, particularly examining the co-construction of both. I am particularly interested in the potential for STS as a discipline to engage with this research topic more fully drawing from queer theory and sexuality studies more broadly. From September 2018 I am co-Director of qUCL, the LGBTQ+ research network at UCL. 


Teaching Summary

Simon teaches a variety of modules across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the STS department and for the UCL Graduate School. He has completed a Certificate in Postgraduate Teaching and Learning at the Institute of Education, London. 


Departmental teaching in 2018-19


HPSC1008: Introduction to Science Communication

HPSCGA48: Engaging the Public with Science

Simon is also the module co-ordinator for HPSC3004/HPSC3026 (dissertation/research project)

Academic Background
2013   Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Institute of Education
2009   Doctor of Philosophy University of London
2001   Master of Science Birkbeck College
2000   Bachelor of Science University College London
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