Nikolas Rose – Principal Investigator
Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London. He has published widely on the social and political history of the human sciences, on the genealogy of subjectivity, on the history of political thought in sociology, on law and criminology, and on changing rationalities and techniques of political power.
The Urban Brain Lab draws together two interest that Nikolas has developed in the last decade or so: the first is an interest in the conceptual, social and political dimensions of the contemporary life sciences and biomedicine. Through this work, Nikolas has paid particular attention to the new brain sciences, working to describe the development of a sophisticated ‘neuro’ complex, and its entanglement in many contemporary techniques for understanding, healing, governing and intervening-on human subjects. The second is a commitment to understanding what a human science, and a social science, can and should look like in a biological age; in his recent work, Nikolas has focused especially on the history and the present of biological thought in sociology – asking, in particular, how we might more rigorously illuminate the contemporary landscape of crossings between sociological research and a more ‘emergent’ conception of human biology.
Ilina Singh – Co-Investigator
Ilina Singh is Professor of Science, Ethics and Society, and Director of Research, at the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London – where she is cross-appointed at the Institute of Psychiatry. Her work examines the psycho-social and ethical implications of advances in biomedicine and neuroscience for young people and families, where she has sought to assess the benefits of biomedical technologies for children, enable evidence-based policymaking in child health, and bring social and ethical theory into better alignment with children’s social, emotional and behavioural capacities.
Focusing especially on ADHD, Autism, and neuroenhancement, Ilina has published widely on children and young people’s engagements with, and understandings of, neuropharmacological treatment and enhancement. Through the Urban Brain Lab, she especially extends her commitment to exploring what a social science can contribute to what we know about the dynamics of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ in human development – and especially to the development of disorder – in an age of post-genomic biology. In her recent work, Ilina has particularly sought to create ground in which social scientists can move ‘beyond critique’ in their encounters with the biological sciences, while still maintaining a commitment to understanding the ways in which social and ethical phenomena are deeply intertwined with our individual biology.
Des Fitzgerald – Co-Investigator/Postdoctoral Research Associate
Des Fitzgerald is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London. He completed his doctoral work in 2013, where he focused on attempts to understand the autism spectrum neurobiologically – describing the ways in which neuroscientific knowledge negotiates the space between the biological and diagnostic definitions of autism, the hopes and disappointments of high-tech bioscience, and the intellectual and affective labours of laboratory research.
The Urban Brain Lab complements Des’s emerging publication profile, which focuses on how psychiatric diagnoses are understood across ‘social’ and ‘cerebral’ domains. A frequent cross-disciplinary researcher, Des is interested in the politics and pragmatics of collaboration between the social and life sciences – and is committed to understanding what is intellectually and emotionally at stake in transdisciplinary research. Through the Urban Brain Lab, he is especially working to extend his interest in such moments of ‘entanglement,’ and his commitment to elaborating an intellectual programme that that can grasp, comprehend, and diffract, the deeply/simultaneously socio-logical and bio-logical intertwinements of human life and suffering.