Clare Williams

Professor of Medical Sociology
Sociology and Communications

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Room: Marie Jahoda Room 151
Brunel University
Uxbridge, UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 267720
Email: clare.williams@brunel.ac.uk

Biography

Qualifications

  • PhD Sociology (Surrey)
  • MSc Medical Sociology (Royal Holloway)
  • BSc Health Studies (Surrey)

Personal Biography

Having worked as a nurse and health visitor for 20 years I completed my PhD in 1998, with the support of a Department of Health Fellowship. In 2001 I joined King's College London to undertake my Post Doctoral Fellowship, funded by the Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics Programme. I was appointed Professor of Social Science of Biomedicine at King’s in 2006. I moved to Brunel in June 2011 and in January 2012, was appointed Deputy Head of School for Research in the School of Social Sciences.

Research

Research Overview

Although my interests are diverse, I am essentially a qualitative medical sociologist. My research focuses on four inter-related areas: the sociology of biomedical ethics; gendered experiences of chronic illness; the sociology of medical/scientific professions; and the development of new medical technologies. My current research explores the social, medical, scientific and ethical aspects of innovations in biomedicine, particularly the interface between the lab and the clinic in the fields of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, stem cell research, embryo donation and experimental neuroscience.

Deputy Director, Centre for Biomedicine & Society

 

Current Projects

Wellcome Trust
London & Brighton Translational Ethics Centre (LABTEC)
£850,000
April 2009 – March 2014
Clare Williams (PI)

Wellcome Trust
Selective reproductive technologies: framings, choices, responsibilities
£9,686
April 2012 - March 2013
Clare Williams (PI)

Wellcome Trust PhD Studentship
Ethics, policy and regulation of human embryonic stem cell research in Iran
£160,000
October 2008 - September 2012
Clare Williams (main supervisor)

 

Recently Completed Projects

Wellcome Trust
Ethical frameworks for embryo donation: views, values and practices of IVF/PGD staff
£200,000
August 2007 - June 2010
Clare Williams (PI)

ESRC Post Doctoral Fellowship
Risky genes, healthy choices: public health as government of the somatic self
£85,000
June 2008 – May 2009
Clare Williams (CI)

ESRC
Spaces of stem cell science: exploring processes of translational research
£128,000
March 2007 - March 2009
Clare Williams (CI)

 

PhD Supervision

Emeka Dumbili: Media, Alcohol Consumption and Young People in Awka, Nigeria; 2012 - 2015

John Gardner: A sociology of experimental neuroscience; 2010 - 2013 (Wellcome Trust Studentship)

Mansooreh Saniei: Ethics, policy and regulation of human embryonic stem cell research in Iran; 2008 - 2012 (Wellcome Trust Studentship)

Teaching

Undergraduate Programmes

Module convenor

  • Sociology of Health & Illness (Yr 2)

Module contributor

  • Globalisation (Year 1)
  • Introduction to Social Enquiry (Yr 1)
  • Research in Practice (Yr 2)

Postgraduate Programmes

Programme convenor

  • MSc Sociology of Health and Illness

Module convenor

  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Bioethics and Society

Module contributor

  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Dissertation
  • Medicine, Bioscience and Society

Administration

  • Deputy Head of School – Research
  • Departmental REF Co-ordinator

External Activity

  • UK Representative, International Stem Cell Forum's Ethics Working Party, 2013 - present
  • Department of Health Policy Research Programme Commissioning Panel, 2013 - present
  • Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics Grant Panel
  • Dept of Health NIHR Senior Fellowships Grant Panel
  • Visiting Professor, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Adjunct Professor, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Clinical Ethics journal
  • Editor Sociology of Health & Illness journal (2006-2012)

Publications

Publications

Journal Papers

(2013) Brosnan, C., Cribb, A., Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Neuroscientists' everyday experiences of 'ethics': The interplay of regulatory, professional, personal and tangible ethical spheres, Sociology of Health and Illness: a journal of medical sociology 35 (8) : 1133- 1148 Download publication

(2012) Scott, R., Williams, C., Ehrich, K. and Farsides, B., Donation of 'spare' fresh or frozen embryos to research: Who decides that an embryo is 'spare' and how can we enhance the quality and protect the validity of consent?, Medical Law Review 20 (3) : 255- 303

(2012) Ehrich, K., Williams, C., Farsides, B. and Scott, R., Embryo futures and stem cell research: The management of informed uncertainty, Sociology of Health and Illness 34 114- 129

(2012) Porter, J., Williams, C., Wainwright, SP. and Cribb, A., On being a (modern) scientist: Potential risks of engaging the public in the UK interspecies embryo debate, New Genetics and Society

(2012) Williams, C., Selective Reproductive Technologies - Virtual Special Issue, Sociology of Health and Illness: a journal of medical sociology

(2012) Neil, S., Cowley, S. and Williams, C., The role of felt or enacted criticism in understanding parent's help seeking in acute childhood illness at home: a grounded theory study, International Journal of Nursing Studies

(2011) Ehrich, K., Williams, C. and Farsides, B., Ethical frameworks for embryo donation to research: workshop on restricted consent., Human Fertility 14 (2) : 115- 121

(2010) Ehrich, K. and Williams, C., A ‘Healthy Baby’: The double imperative of preimplantation genetic diagnosis., Health 14 (1) : 41- 56

(2010) Ehrich, K., Williams, C. and Farsides, B., Consenting Futures: Professional views on social, clinical and ethical aspects of information feedback to embryo donors in human embryonic stem cell research., Clinical Ethics 5 77- 85

(2010) Ehrich, K., Williams, C., Farsides, B. and Scott, R., Fresh or frozen? Classifying ‘spare embryos’ for donation to human embryonic stem cell research., Social Science & Medicine 71 (12-6) : 2204- 2211

(2009) Seale, C., Gabe, J., Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Editorial: Sociology of Health & Illness - New Developments., Sociology of Health & Illness 31 941- 946

(2008) Wainwright, SP., Michael, M. and Williams, C., Shifting paradigms? Reflections on regenerative medicine, embryonic stem cells and pharmaceuticals., Sociology of Health & Illness 30 (6) : 959- 974

(2008) Ehrich, K., Williams, C. and Farsides, B., The embryo as moral work object: PGD/IVF staff views and experiences, Sociology of Health & Illness 30 (5) : 772- 787 Download publication

(2008) Ives, J., Draper, H., Pattison, H. and Williams, C., Becoming a father / refusing fatherhood: an empirical bioethics approach to paternal responsibility., Clinical Ethics 75- 84

(2008) Seale, C., Gabe, J., Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Editorial - Sociology of Health and Illness: a moment to reflect., Sociology of Health & Illness 30 655- 658

(2008) Lewando Hunt, G., Sandall, J., Spencer, K., Heyman, B. and Williams, C., Experiences of first trimester antenatal screening in a one-stop clinic., British Journal of Midwifery 14 (3) : 156- 159

(2008) Williams, C., Wainwright, SP., Ehrich, K. and Michael, M., Human embryos as boundary objects? Some reflections on the biomedical worlds of embryonic stem cells and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, New Genetics and Society 27 (1) : 7- 18

(2008) Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Spaces of speech and places of performance: An outline of a geography of science approach to embryonic stem cell research and diabetes, New Genetics and Society 27 (2) : 161- 173

(2008) Ehrich, K., Farsides, B., Williams, C. and Scott, R., Testing the embryo, testing the fetus., Clinical Ethics 4 181- 186

(2008) El-Toukhy, T., Williams, C. and Braude, P., The ethics of PGD., The Obstetrician & Gynacologist, 10 49-54. 10 49- 54

(2008) Cribb, A., Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Michael, M. and Farsides, B., Towards the applied: the construction of ethical positions in stem cell translational research., Medicine, Health Care & Philosophy 11 351- 361

(2007) Ehrich, K., Williams, C., Farsides, B., Sandall, J. and Scott, R., Choosing embryos: Ethical complexity and relational autonomy in staff accounts of PGD, Sociology of Health and Illness 29 (7) : 1091- 1106 Download publication

(2007) Williams, C., Ehrich, K., Farsides, B. and Scott, R., Facilitating choice, framing choice: staff views on widening the scope of PGD in the UK., Social Science & Medicine 65 1094- 1105

(2007) Michael, M., Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Farsides, B. and Cribb, A., From core set to assemblage: on the dynamics of exclusion and inclusion in the failure to derive beta cells from embryonic stem cells., Science Studies 20 (1) : 5- 25

(2007) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C. and Turner, B., Globalisation, habitus and the balletic body., Cultural Studies -Critical Methodologies 7 308- 325

(2007) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C. and Turner, BS., Globalization, habitus, and the balletic body, Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies 7 (3) : 308- 325

(2007) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Michael, M., Farsides, B. and Cribb, A., Remaking the body? Scientists' genetic discourses and practices as examples of changing expectations on embryonic stem cell therapy for diabetes., New Genetics & Society 26 251- 268

(2007) Michael, M., Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Temporality and prudence: on stem cells as ‘phronesic things’., Configurations 13 373- 394

(2007) Scott, R., Williams, C., Ehrich, K. and Farsides, B., The appropriate extent of PGD: health professionals’ views on the requirement for a ‘significant risk of a serious genetic condition’., Medical Law Review 15 (3) : 320- 356

(2006) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Persaud, SJ. and Jones, PM., Real science, biological bodies and stem cells: constructing images of beta cells in the biomedical science lab., Social Theory and Health 4 (4) : 275- 298

(2006) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Michael, M., Farsides, B. and Cribb, A., From bench to bedside? Biomedical scientists' expectations of stem cell science as a future therapy for diabetes., Soc Sci Med 63 (8) : 2052- 2064

(2006) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Michael, M., Farsides, B. and Cribb, A., Ethical boundary-work in the embryonic stem cell laboratory., Sociol Health Illn 28 (6) : 732- 748

(2006) Ehrich, K., Williams, C., Scott, R., Sandall, J. and Farsides, B., Social welfare, genetic welfare? Boundary-work in the IVF/PGD clinic, Social Science & Medicine 63 (5) : 1213- 1224 Download publication

(2006) Williams, C., Dilemmas in fetal medicine: Premature application of technology or responding to women's choice?, Sociology of Health & Illness 28 (1) : 1- 20 Download publication

(2006) Heyman, B., Lewando Hundt, G., Sandall, J., Spencer, K. and Williams, C., On being at higher risk: prenatal screening for chromosomal anomalies., Social Science & Medicine 62 2360- 2372

(2006) Williams, C., The value of social science approaches to clinical ethics research., Clinical Ethics (1) : 37- 38

(2006) Williams, C., User involvement in empirical ethics research., Clinical Ethics 1 93- 94

(2006) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C. and Turner, BS., Varieties of habitus and the embodiment of ballet, Qualitative Research 6 (4) : 535- 558

(2005) Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Culture and ageing: reflections on the arts and nursing., J Adv Nurs 52 (5) : 518- 525

(2005) Williams, C., Sandall, J., Lewando-Hundt, G., Heyman, B., Spencer, K. and Grellier, R., Women as moral pioneers? Experiences of first trimester antenatal screening, Social Science & Medicine 61 (9) : 1983- 1992 Download publication

(2005) Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Biography and vulnerability: Loss, dying and death in the Romantic paintings of JMW Turner (1775-1851), Auto/Biography 13 (1) : 16- 32 Download publication

(2005) Kitzinger, J. and Williams, C., Forecasting science futures: legitimising hope and calming fears in the embryo stem cell debate., Social Science & Medicine 61 731- 740

(2005) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C. and Turner, BS., Fractured identities: injury and the balletic body., Health (London) 9 (1) : 49- 66

(2005) Williams, C., Framing the fetus in medical work: representations and practices., Social Science & Medicine 60 2085- 2095

(2005) Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., The embodiment of vulnerability: a case study of the life of Leoš Janáček, and his opera The Makropulos Case., Body & Society 11 27- 41

(2004) Farsides, B., Williams, C. and Alderson, P., Aiming towards ‘moral’ equilibrium’: health care professionals’ views on working within the morally contested field of antenatal screening., Journal of Medical Ethics 30 505- 509

(2004) Wainwright, SP. and Williams, C., Giselle, madness & death, Medical Humanities 30 (2) : 79- 81

(2004) Alderson, P., Williams, C. and Farsides, B., Practitioners' Views About Equity Within Prenatal Services, Sociology 38 (1) : 61- 80

(2003) Williams, C., Kitzinger, J. and Henderson, L., Envisaging the embryo in stem cell research: Rhetorical strategies and media reporting of the ethical debates, Sociology of Health and Illness 25 (7) : 793- 814

(2003) Williams, C., The personalisation of the fetus or, He just looks like his father, MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 13 47- 49

(2003) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., What constitutes balanced information in practioners portrayels of Downs syndrome?, MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 13 54- 60

(2002) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., ‘Drawing the line’ in prenatal screening and testing: health practitioners’ discussions., Health, Risk & Society 4 61- 75

(2002) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., Dilemmas encountered by health practitioners offering nuchal translucency screening: a qualitative case study., Prenatal Diagnosis 22 216- 220

(2002) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., Examining ethics in practice: health service professionals’ evaluations of in-hospital ethics seminars., Journal of Nursing Ethics 9 518- 531

(2002) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., Is nondirectiveness possible within the context of antenatal screening and testing?, Social Science & Medicine 54 17- 25

(2002) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., Too many choices? Hospital and community staff reflect on the future of prenatal screening., Social Science & Medicine 55 743- 753

(2002) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., What constitutes balanced information in practitioners portrayals of Downs syndrome?, Midwifery 18 230- 237

(2001) Williams, C., Cantillon, P. and Cochrane, M., The clinical and educational experiences of pre-registration house officers in general practice., Med Educ 35 (8) : 774- 781

(2001) Williams, C., Cantillon, P. and Cochrane, M., The doctor-patient relationship: from undergraduate assumptions to pre-registration reality., Med Educ 35 (8) : 743- 747

(2001) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., Conflicting perceptions of the fetus: person, patient, ‘nobody’, commodity?, New Genetics & Society 20 225- 238

(2001) Williams, C., Cantillon, P. and Cochrane, M., Pre-registration house officers in general practice: the views of GP trainers, Family Practice 18 619- 621

(2001) Williams, C., Cantillon, P. and Cochrane, M., PRHO rotations incorporating general practice: does the order of rotation matter?, Medical Education 35 572- 577

(2000) Williams, C., Cantillon, P. and Cochrane, M., Pre-registration rotations into general practice: the concerns of pre-registration house officers and the views of hospital consultants., Med Educ 34 (9) : 716- 720

(2000) Williams, C. and Cantillon, P., A surgical career? The views of junior women doctors., Med Educ 34 (8) : 602- 607

(2000) Williams, C., Alert assistants in managing chronic illness: the case of mothers and teenage sons., Sociology of Health & Illness, 22: 254-272. 22 254- 272

(2000) Williams, C., Doing health, doing gender: teenagers, diabetes and asthma. Social Science & Medicine., Social Science & Medicine 50 387- 396

(2000) Cantillon, P., Williams, C. and Cochrane, M., PRHO rotations in primary care: what is happening out there?, Hospital Medicine 61 564- 567

(2000) Williams, C., Cochrane, M. and Cantillon, P., PRHO rotations incorporating general practice, Student BMJ 8 163- 164

(1999) Williams, C., Gender, adolescence and the management of diabetes., Journal of Advanced Nursing 30 1160- 1166

Book Chapters

(2013) Williams, C. and Wainwright, SP., Ethical and Social Aspects of PGD. In: El-Touky, T. ed. . Amsterdam : Springer (PGD in Practice: your essential guide to PGD)

(2013) Williams, C., The Embryo and Fetus. In: Dingwell, R. ed. Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior and Society. London : Wiley-Blackwell

(2010) Williams, C. and Wainwright, SP., Sociological reflections on ethics, embryonic stem cells and translational research. In: Capps, BJ. and Campbell, AV. eds. Contested Cells: Global Perspectives on the Stem Cell Debate,. Imperial College Press

(2009) Wainwright, SP., Michael, M. and Williams, C., Shifting paradigms? Reflections on regenerative medicine, embryonic stem cells and pharmaceuticals.. In: Williams, S., Gabe, J. and Davis, P. eds. Pharmaceuticals & Society: Critical Discourses & Debates. Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell

(2009) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Michael, M. and Cribb, A., Stem cells, translational research and the sociology of science.. In: Atkinson, P., Glasner, P. and Lock, M. eds. Handbook of Genetics & Society: Mapping the New Genomic Era. Routledge

(2007) Wainwright, SP., Williams, C., Michael, M., Farsides, B. and Cribb, A., Ethical boundary-work in the embryonic stem cell laboratory.. In: de Vries, R. ed. The View from Here: Bioethics and the Social Sciences.. Blackwell

(2006) Kitzinger, J. and Williams, C., Forecasting science futures: legitimising hope and calming fears in the embryo stem cell debate.. In: Deane-Drummond, C. and Scott, PM. eds. Future Perfect? God, Medicine & Human Identity. Edinburgh : A&T Clark

(2006) Kitzinger, J., Williams, C. and Henderson, L., Science, media and society: the framing of bioethical debates around embryonic stem cell research between 2000 and 2005.. In: Glasner, P., Atkinson, P. and Greenslade, H. eds. New Genetics, New Social Formations. London : Routledge

(2005) Williams, C., Alderson, P. and Farsides, B., Interdisciplinary Research: culture clash or the best of both worlds?. In: Lawton, J., Gregory, S. and Hallowell, N. eds. Reflecting upon research: the perils, pitfalls and pleasures of doing social science research. Buckingham : Open University Press

Books

(2002) Williams, C., Mothers, Young People and Chronic Illness.. Ashgate

Page last updated: Thursday 18 July 2013