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

Cesagen · People

Dr. Richard Twine

Cesagen Research Fellow


BA Joint Hons (first class), MA (distinction), PhD.


01524 510844


01524 510856




FASS Building, County South


I have worked at Cesagen in Lancaster since 2004 (and before that on a Wellcome Trust funded project which began in 2002). My academic path before this was BA Joint Honours Sociology and Psychology (Stirling) 1995, MA Sociology (Essex) 1996 and PhD Sociology (Manchester Met.) 2002. In addition to my research role in Cesagen I am Postgraduate Director for CESAGen Lancaster and I teach on our MA core course 'Genomics and Society', as well as my own option entitled 'Animals, Science and Society'. Visit the to find out more.

I am most clearly situated discursively in the intersecting fields of the Ecological Humanities, Gender Studies, and Animal Studies. I also have a long standing interest in questions around embodiment.

I co-founded and am now the Associate Editor of the Journal Genomics, Society and Policy. I am also the Book Reviews editor for the Journal of Critical Animal Studies.

There are three main themes & points of interest in my work since the mid 1990s: i) Critical analysis of explanations of the social/the self/'ideas of the human' in terms of the biological - this connects my interest in physiognomy and phrenology in the 18th and 19th centuries, with my present interest in genetics and genomics as these sciences evolve in the 21st.ii) Normative debates over the value of nonhuman life, and how these intersect with social theory debates on modernity, postmodernity and 'progress'. Relatedly here I'm interested in the role of dualistic discursive formations in shaping the human, as well as possible posthumanist (feminist, ecological) alternatives to this.iii) Ongoing attempts in social science and philosophy to unravel overly pure conceptualisations (ontological - such as separations of society/nature and related dualisms, as well as ideological e.g. gendered or anthropocentric) and so to take into account their role in identity formation. Relatedly this entails constructive theorisation on the hybridity of nature/society and necessitates a reflexive approach to core sociological concepts.Over the last few years I have been working in these areas - BIOETHICS - sociology of bioethics / critical bioethics / feminist bioethics / animal bioethics / enhancementREGULATORY/POLICY SPHERE - stem cell research / animal biotechnology / research dissemination / policy engagement - e.g. FAWC/DEFRASOCIOLOGY OF HUMAN/ANIMAL RELATIONS - empirical engagement with animal science communities of relevance to emergent technologies in farm animal breeding / toward theoretical understandings of animal biotechnologies / issues around reflexivity and the role of the social scientist in this area / ideas of a critical animal studies.

In September 2007 we moved into Cesagen's second research phase (2007 - 2012).The three research themes that are currently occupying me revolve around -

  1. Animals, biotechnology and sustainability.
  2. Posthumanism.
  3. The political economy of animal biotechnology.


Journal Articles:

Twine, R. (2010) 'Intersectional Disgust? - Animals and (Eco) Feminism' in Feminism and Psychology - Special Issue on Gender, Psychology and Nonhuman Animals edited by Dr. Annie Potts 20(1) http://fap.sagepub.com/

Twine, R. (2007) 'Searching for the Win-Win? - Animals, Genomics and Welfare' in International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food 16(3): 1-18.

Twine, R. (2007) 'Thinking Across Species - A Critical Bioethics Approach to Enhancement' in Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28(6): 509-523.

Twine, R. (2007) 'Animal Genomics and Ambivalence: A Sociology of Animal Bodies in Agricultural Biotechnology'in Genomics, Society and Policy 3(2): 99-117.

Twine, R. (2005) 'Constructing a Critical Bioethics by Deconstructing Culture/Nature Dualism' in Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8(3): 285-295.

Twine, R. (2005) 'From Warnock to the Stem Cell Bank - Evaluating the UK's Regulatory Measures for Stem Cell Research' in Journal of International Biotechnology Law 2(1):1-14

Twine, R. (2002) 'Physiognomy, Phrenology and the Temporality of the Body' in Body and Society 8(1):67-88.

Twine, R. (2001) 'Ma(r)king Essence: Ecofeminism and Embodiment' in Ethics and the Environment 6(2): 31-58.

Book Chapters:

Twine, R. (2010) 'Broadening the Feminism in Feminist Bioethics' in Feminist Bioethics: At the centre, at the margins. J. Scully, L. Baldwin-Ragaven and P. Fitzpatrick (eds), Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

Twine, R (2006) 'Agricultural Animals as Targets of Genetic Progress - Engaging with Animal Scientists about the Impact of Genomics' in Ethics and the Politics of Food. M. Kaiser and M. Lien (eds.), Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers


My PhD which I wrote between 1997 and 2001 is available to read online - let me know if you would like a hard copy sent to you.

Twine (2001) "Ecofeminism and the 'New' Sociologies - A Collaboration Against Dualism"

Research Interests


In no order of importance - mainly these inter-related areas:

  • The sociology of human/animal relations and animal ethics;
  • The political economy of animal agriculture, questions of sustainability;
  • Understandings of embodiment in genetics and related biosciences;
  • Reconceptualisations and critical interventions to the field of bioethics;
  • Environmental sociology/ethics, and the politics of nature, and 'nature';
  • Feminist theory, ecofeminism (see my www.ecofem.org) and masculinities.