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Professor Nikolas Rose


Professor of Sociology








He originally trained as a biologist before switching to psychology and then to sociology. After ten years at Goldsmiths College, where he was Head of Sociology and Pro-Warden for Research, he joined the London School of Economics in 2002, where he was Martin White Professor of Sociology, and Head of the Department of Sociology from 2002 to 2006. He founded the BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society at LSE, and was its Director since its inception in 2003. He joined King's in January 2012 to establish the new Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine.

Nikolas Rose has published widely on the social and political history of the human sciences, on the genealogy of subjectivity, on the history of empirical thought in sociology, on law and criminology, and on changing rationalities and techniques of political power. For the last decade, his work has focused on the conceptual, social and political dimensions of the contemporary life sciences and biomedicine.

His current research concerns biological and genetic psychiatry and behavioural neuroscience; his latest book is Our Psychiatric Future: The politics of mental health (Polity, 2018) Other recent books include: Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (with Joelle Abi-Rached, Princeton, 2013); Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 1999), The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton University Press, 2006) and (with Peter Miller) Governing the Present (Polity, 2008).

He is a longstanding member of the Editorial Board of Economy and Society and co-editor of BioSocieties: an interdisciplinary journal for social studies of the life sciences. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Society and Ethics Division of the Human Brain Project, a European FET Flagship Project, and is responsible for their Foresight Laboratory. He is the lead investigator from King's responsible for ‘responsible research and innovation’ in several large EPSRC funded collaborations with Imperial College to develop research and capacity in synthetic biology. For six years he was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. He was lead partner in BIONET, a 21-partner consortium, funded by the European Commission, examining the ethical governance of research in the life sciences in China and Europe. He was Chair of the European Neuroscience and Society Network funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and has worked in various capacities with the Academy of Medical Science and the Wellcome Trust, and with the Royal Society, where he is currently a member of the Science Policy Advisory Group. He is Chair of the Neuroscience and Society Network, a unique interdisciplinary collaboration of social scientists, philosophers, lawyers, neuroscientists and psychiatrists

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