United Kingdom

Nik Brown is professor in sociology at the University of York working across Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the Sociology of Health and Illness (SHI). He has several decades of research and scholarship experience working first on the regulation and governance of the biosciences. His interest in novel and legally challenging areas of biology was underpinned by funding from the ESRC and EC on bio-risk in the contexts of transpecies transplantation. Two of his ESRC funded research projects have explored the political and moral economies of stem cell biobanks and umbilical cord blood banking. His most recent areas of interest include the biopolitics of infections and anti-microbial resistance (AMR). This has resulted in a recently awarded AHRC funded project (2018-20) exploring the relationships between hospital architectural design and infection control. He is also participating in a Global Challenges Research Fund project (GCRF) that seeks to anthropologically explore AMR risk in Sri Lanka. He has published widely on the biopolitics of immunity including a forthcoming monograph (‘Immunitary Life: The biopolitics of Immunity’, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018).

Pathways, Practices and Architectures: Containing Antimicrobial Resistance in the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. PARC (2018-20) is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council on anti-microbial resistance (AMR). Our research compares the way three outpatient lung infection clinics attempt to control AMR and cross-infection through the design, practices and architectural layout of their built environments. It seeks to learn lessons from this to limit AMR in wider healthcare settings. The PARC project has been designed in close collaboration with our three partner cystic fibrosis (CF) clinics. This highlights the different material and design approaches taken to preventing AMR through physical isolation, segregation and containment. PARC is intended to benefit people with CF, the wider respiratory healthcare community, healthcare designers, architects and policy makers.

Further information on Nik can be found on his institutional profile.