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John Abraham is a Professor of Sociology. Initially trained as a mathematician, he worked with the Radical Statistics arm of the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science before attaining his qualifications.

Since then, he has led numerous Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)- and Wellcome Trust-funded research projects on various aspects of pharmaceuticals and health policy.

Meanwhile, as Specialist Expert Adviser to the UK House of Commons Parliamentary Health Select Committee, he was centrally involved in its ‘Inquiry into the Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry’ (2005). This was the most comprehensive and wide-ranging Parliamentary investigation of the pharmaceutical sector since 1914.

He has chaired many ESRC Research Grants Assessment Panels, as well as serving on the ESRC's Grants Delivery Group, and as Vice-Chair of the ESRC Research Seminars Competition Panel.

He has also delivered lectures to the World Health Organization, Social Science & Health Research Councils of Canada (GIERSO), International Society of Pharmacovigiliance, Royal College of Psychiatrists, European Congress of Toxicology, European Science Foundation, British Medical Association, INFARMED, the International Society of Social Pharmacy, Basel Institute on Governance, European Commission MEDUSE programme at University of Liege, and the All-Party UK Parliamentary Group on Corporate Responsibility. 

MSc in Science Policy Studies
MA in Sociology
DPhil in Politics


  • Sociology and politics of pharmaceuticals innovation, safety, efficacy, regulation and cost-effectiveness (especially in the UK, EU and US since the late nineteenth century)

John has published widely in sociology and politics, including books on sociology of education (eg 'Divide and School: Gender and Class Dynamics in Comprehensive Education') and the politics of food (eg 'Food and Development: The Political Economy of Hunger and the Modern Diet').




Further details

See John's research profile