Researcher

Professor Matthew Benjamin Kearnes

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Sociology and social studies of science and technology, Cultural geography, Human geography

Biography

I am the current convenor Environment and Society group, the Environmental Humanities programme and the Geographical Studies programme, based in the School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW. 

I am also the current president of the Geographical Society of NSW.  

I completed a BSc (honours) in Human Geography at Macquarie University and a PhD at the University of Newcastle. Before arriving at UNSW I held post-doctoral positions at the Department...view more

I am the current convenor Environment and Society group, the Environmental Humanities programme and the Geographical Studies programme, based in the School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW. 

I am also the current president of the Geographical Society of NSW.  

I completed a BSc (honours) in Human Geography at Macquarie University and a PhD at the University of Newcastle. Before arriving at UNSW I held post-doctoral positions at the Department of Geography at the Open University and the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. I also held a Research Council’s UK Academic Fellowship at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Department of Geography, Durham University (2007-2011).

My research is situated between the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS), social and cultural geography and contemporary social theory. My research focuses on the social constitution of processes of technological and environmental change. In this context I have documented the constitution of vernacular understandings of, and responses to, technological, scientific and environmental change, and have explored novel means for promoting diverse forms public participation. Deploying qualitative and ethnographic methodologies, my research has explored the societal dimensions of, and public engagement with, climatic change, bio-nanotechnology, geoengineering and contemporary water treatment and supply.

I am currently CI on two ARC Discovery Projects. Together with Prof. Alison Ritter (UNSW), Dr. Kari Lancaster (UNSW) and Prof. Jason Chilvers (UEA) I am a CI on the ARC DP Designing Illicit Drug Policy Solutions: The Role of Participation (DP200100909, 2020-2022), that deploys a novel ethnographic and praxiographic approach to participatory policy processes in the domain of illicit drug policy. In collaboration with A/Prof Thom van Dooren (USyd), Dr Emily O'Gorman (Macquarie), Prof Stephen Muecke (UNSW), Prof Grace Karskens (UNSW), Dr Natalie Osborne (Griffith) & Dr Peter Minter (USyd), I am CI on the recently awarded ARC DP Narrative Ecologies of Warragamba Dam (DP220101258, 2022-2026).

I am a CI in the ARC Training Centre for Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource (2020-2025). I am also currently a member of the leadership team of the UNSW Global Water Institute.

Prior to these awards, between 2014-2018 I took up an ARC Future Fellowship (FT130101302, Governing Climate Futures: The Social and Political Ramifications of Climate Modification, $713,402). In the context of my ARC Future Fellowship I took up a visiting position in the School of Geography, Oxford University (September 2015-December 2015).

Between 2014-2021 I was a CI in the ARC Centre of Excellence on Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (CBNS, CE140100036, 2014-2021, $26 million). My involvement in this large and multi-institutional project represented an innovative collaboration between scientific and technological research and social scientific reflection. In this context I led one of the Centre’s ten signature projects, focused on the ‘social dimension of bio-nano interactions. 

I am a member of the editorial collective for Science, Technology & Human Values an associate editor of Science as Culture. I am a member of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), the Science and Democracy Network, the Institute of Australian Geographers, and the Geographical Society of NSW


My Grants

Current

  • CI - ARC DP Designing Illicit Drug Policy Solutions: The Role of Participation (DP200100909, 2020-2022)
  • CI - ARC DP Narrative Ecologies of Warragamba Dam (DP220101258, 2022-2026)
  • CI - ARC Training Centre for Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource (2020-2025)

Previous

  • CI - ARC Centre of Excellence on Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (CBNS, CE140100036, 2014-2021)
  • CI - ARC Future Fellowship Governing Climate Futures: The Social and Political Ramifications of Climate Modification (FT130101302, 2014-2018)
  • CI - National Demonstration, Education and Engagement Programme, Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (2012-2014)

International

  • Research Councils UK (RCUK) Fellowship, 2007-2011, Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Durham University. 
  • CI - ESRC (UK) grant Strategic Science: Research Intermediaries and the Governance of Science (2009-2011)
  • CI - DEEPEN – Deepening Ethical Engagement and Participation in Emerging Nanotechnologies, European Commission, FP7 (2006-2009)

My Qualifications

  • Doctorate of Philosophy, Social and Cultural Geography, The University of Newcastle, 2004
  • Bachelor of Science (1st Class Honours) Macquarie University, Human Geography, 1997
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, Durham University, 2010

My Awards

  • 2007 - RCUK Fellowship
  • 2014 - ARC Future Fellowship
  • 2014 - WateReuse International Award, the WateReuse Association.
  • 2018 - Amsterdamska Award, European Association for Study of Science and Technology (EASST)

My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

I am available for PhD supervision in research areas including science and technology studies (STS), and social and cultural geography. 


Currently supervising

  • Elizabeth Crouch - PhD - How do interdisciplinary approaches to engagement with science (specifically art-sciencecollaborations) enable underserved audiences to be empowered, allowing them to be part of conversations where they previously had been excluded?
  • Anne Fredrickson - PhD - Evidence-Making of Biomedical Promise: Critically Analysing Innovative Health Intervention Implementation
  • Maddy Miller - PhD - Neo-Agrarian Prophets and the Regenerative Economy: Rewriting the Foodshed for the Agricultural Turn
  • Roberta Pala - PhD - Vaccines as biosocial actants - a Biohumanities approach to vaccine research
  • Keivn Witzenberger - PhD - The Potential Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Education Policy​​​​​​

My Engagement


My Teaching

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Location

365 Morven Brown

Contact

9385 1010