INVESTIGATING UK BLOOD DONOR ACTIVISM
I am an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) supported PhD Student at University College London (UCL) in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. My thesis, which is supervised by Simon Lock and Emily Dawson, examines blood donor activism in the UK: campaigns surrounding the exclusion of men who have sex with men (MSM) from blood donation. As well as the available archival material and grey literature, my research draws on interviews with key individuals involved in blood donor activism in the UK, as well as representatives of groups implicated in this work, including policy-makers, nurses, and patient groups.
I am particularly interested in the entanglements of the politics of knowledge and sexuality in blood donor activism. I also seek to address the motivations and implications of blood donor activism and to unpack the social, political and epistemological implications of the figure of the “gay blood donor” constructed, in part, through activist campaigning. Critically, my work speaks to and is informed by emerging and productive inquiry at the intersections of queer studies and science and technology studies (STS), moving towards a queer STS.
My research interests include (broadly) queer studies, the sociology of science, and science and technology studies as well as: the politics of knowledge/the politics of sexuality or epistemology/sexuality; the co-construction of science and sexuality; biological citizenship; social movement theory/the sociology of social movements; biomedical activism; HIV/AIDS; risk and risk positivism; homonationalism and structural homonormativity.