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Dr Matthias Wienroth

VC Senior Fellow

Department: Social Sciences

How can technology contribute to the 'good society', and what does 'good society’ even meanI address these questions in my work on studying science and technology as social practices. I am particularly interested in how technologies shape the ways we know and (un)know human beings and relationships, individuals, communities and society. The fields I primarily study this in are security & justice (forensics and biometrics), and human health.

My work has been published in many peer-reviewed journals, including BioSocieties, the British Journal for the History of Science, Forensic Science Review, Minerva, Leonardo, New Genetics & Society, Sociology of Health & Illness, and others. I have edited books for Routledge and IOS Press, and regularly peer-review journal articles and grant proposals.

I am part of the multi-national FP7 Network of Excellence EUROFORGEN, and the interdisciplinary scientific initiative on new and emerging forensic genetics technologies WIE-DNA. I am a member of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and the European Association for Studies of Science and Technology (EASST). Since 2015, I have been building an interdisciplinary and international network for the Social Studies of Forensic Science.

Prior to joining the Centre for Crime and Policing I was Senior Research Associate at the Policy, Ethics & Life Sciences Research Centre, Newcastle University, and previously also worked as researcher at the Universities of Durham and Edinburgh, and King's College London.

Matthias Wienroth


  • Sociology PhD January 31 2009
  • Politics MA (Hons) August 31 2005

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Socio-technical disagreements as ethical fora. Parabon NanoLab’s forensic DNA Snapshot service at the intersection of discourses around robust science, technology validation, and commerce, Wienroth, M. 1 Mar 2020, In: BioSocieties
  • Governing anticipatory technology practices. Forensic DNA phenotyping and the forensic genetics community in Europe, Wienroth, M. 7 May 2018, In: New Genetics & Society
  • Promissory Ethical Regimes: Publics and Public Goods in Genome Editing for Human Health, Wienroth, M., Scully, J. 14 Jan 2020, In: Science and Public Policy
  • Research campaigns in the UK National Health Service: patient recruitment and questions of valuation, Wienroth, M., Pearce, C., McKevitt, C. 1 Sep 2019, In: Sociology of Health & Illness
  • Health technology identities and self. Patients’ appropriation of an assistive device for self-management of chronic illness, Wienroth, M., Lund Holm Thomsen, L., Høstgaard, A. 1 Jun 2020, In: Sociology of Health & Illness
  • An analysis of the Learning Health System in its First Decade: A Scoping Review, Platt, J., Raj, M., Wienroth, M. 19 Mar 2020, In: Journal of Medical Internet Research
  • Was this an Ending? The Destruction of Samples and Deletion of Records from the UK Police National DNA Database, Skinner, D., Wienroth, M. 31 Jul 2019, In: BJHS Themes
  • Knowing New Biotechnologies, Wienroth, M., Rodrigues, E. 5 Mar 2015
  • Social and Ethical Aspects of Forensic Genetics: A Critical Review, Williams, R., Wienroth, M. Jul 2017, In: Forensic Science Review
  • Precaution, governance and the failure of medical implants: the ASR(TM) hip in the UK, Wienroth, M., McCormack, P., Joyce, T. Dec 2014, In: Life Sciences Society and Policy

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

I am particularly interested in studying disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and cross-boundary knowledge production and organisation, their social & ethical aspects, and issues of governance here, in the fields of forensics, biometrics, and health technology and systems.

In my work I draw on frameworks and methods from Science and Technology Studies (STS), Sociology, Anthropology, Sociological/Empirical Ethics, Bioethics, Public Engagement, and Critical Policy Analysis. My work is interdisciplinary and integrates engagement with scientific practitioners, publics & policy-makers.


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