I began my academic life in the biological sciences with an undergraduate degree in biotechnology from Leeds University (BSc Honours with industrial placement at British Biotech Plc.) After spending the Easter holiday of my final year in Amsterdam I decided that I would move there to complete a Masters in Science and Technology Studies (MSc). My thesis drew on my experiences at British Biotech Plc., exploring the connection between academic science and industrial innovation. I used the theoretical triple helix model of biotechnology which had been developed by my thesis supervisor, Loet Leydesdorff (1996). My findings supported the view that British Biotech Plc. was marked by its lack of an established drug profile, and this lead to its innovation systems being selected upon during clinical trials by the stock market. The research indicated that there may have been a conflict between the company’s need for confidentiality for drug approval and the immediate date release required by the stock market.
My personal background has given me a keen interest in gender roles, both how they are formed and their relationship with science, and I hope, during my PhD research at Egenis, to explore this in connection with genomics. As biological sex plays a large role in how individuals relate to themselves and others in society, it is an area that has the potential to be influenced by genomics. However this raises the question of what a genomic view of biological sex is, and how this differs from a genetic view.
Towards the end of this year I hope to undertake a survey exploring how genetics and genomics have influenced concepts of ‘sex determination’, both for those who study the biological phenomena and those separated as variant by the scientific research (i.e. intersex conditions, transgender, etc). I intend my PhD project to be highly inclusive, and I would welcome any queries from interested parties to this discussion.