1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Cesagen · People

Dr. Joan Haran

Cesagen Research Fellow


029 2087 0137






6 Museum Place


Joan Haran has a BA (Hons) in Literature and History from North Staffordshire Polytechnic, an MA (Dist) in Gender, Society and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London and a PhD in Sociology from Warwick University. As Research Associate on the flagship project on Media Culture and Genomics (April 2004 – March 2007) in the first phase of Cesagen’s work programme, she co-authored the monograph Human Cloning in the Media: From science fiction to science practice (Routledge 2008). This volume drew together media, cultural, and feminist technoscience studies preoccupations and methodologies to document the symbolic and material labour of making genomics in the media. The book focuses on the mediation of human cloning as an exemplary case study in the media construction of genomic science, highlighting the rhetorical construction of boundaries between science fact and science fiction, between therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning and between reputable and disreputable scientists – ‘mavericks, madmen and fallen heroes’.

Current Projects

Accounting for Knowledge of Genetics and Cloning in Mass ObservationGenetic Fictions: Genes, Gender and GenreThe HFEA, ART Markets and Public Consultation
Imaginaries: Mapping the conceptual terrain of STS’s uses of the concept The Publics of Bioscience



Haran, J. , Kitzinger, J., McNeil, M. and O’Riordan, K. (2008) Human Cloning in the Media: From Science Fiction to Science Practice, London : Routledge

Journal Articles:

Haran, J. (2010) ‘Redefining Hope as Praxis’ in Journal for Cultural Research 14 (3) 393-408

Haran, J. and Kitzinger, J. (2010) 'Modest Witnessing and managing the boundaries between science and the media: a case study of breakthrough and scandal', Public Understanding of Science. 18(6): 634-652. DOI: 10.1177/0963662509338324 PDF

O’Riordan, K. and Haran, J. (2009) ‘From reproduction to research: sourcing eggs, IVF and cloning in the UK, in Feminist Theory 10 (2) 191-210

Haran, J. (2007) 'Managing the Boundaries Between Maverick Cloners and Mainstream Scientists: The Life Cycle of a News Event in a Contested Field', New Genetics and Society 26(2).

Haran, J. and O’Riordan, K. (2006) 'Women, Feminism and Human Cloning: Recirculating Concerns and Critiques', Feminist Media Studies 6(2): 217-222.

Haran, J. (2004) 'Theorizing (hetero)sexuality and (fe)male dominance', Extrapolation 45(1): 89-102.

Book Chapters:

Haran, J. (2011) ‘Campaigns and Coalitions: Governance by Media’ in Rödder, S., Franzen, M. and P. Weingart (2011) The Sciences' Media Connection – Communication to the Public and its Repercussions. Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook, Dordrecht: Springer.

Haran, J. (2009) 'Human Genetics and Cloning in the Media: Mapping the Research Field' in Atkinson, P., Glasner, P. and Lock, M. (eds) Handbook of Genetics and Society: Mapping the New Genomic Era. London: Routledge:203-221.

Haran, J. (2006) 'Simians, Cyborgs and Women in "Rachel in Love"', in J. Larbalestier (ed) Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press.

Research Interests

Joan’s key research interests revolve around gender, representation and technoscience, and she is particularly interested in the policing of boundaries between science fact and science fiction. A significant strand of her personal research focuses on feminist science fiction and the communities which produce and are produced by that genre. Since completion of the flagship project, Joan has continued to pursue research on the mediation of genomics across a range of topics and genres. One strand of research has involved monitoring the media relations and public consultation exercises conducted by scientists and policymakers with regard to the governance of embryological research. Another major strand examines the representation in fiction of contemporary and emerging biotechnologies and the social, political and ethical challenges they pose. She is currently developing a monograph provisionally entitled Genetic Fictions: Genes, Gender and Genre.

Research tags

cultural representations   media   stem cells   cloning   gender