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Department of Management

Dr Beth Kewell

Dr Beth Kewell

Senior Lecturer in Digital Economy and Director of Education for SITE




Beth Kewell joined Exeter Business School in October 2018 as a Research Fellow allied to the Initiative for the Digital Economy at Exeter, (INDEX). Beth specialises in interpretative research, positioned at the boundary between innovation management, Science and Technology Studies (STS), and risk analysis. She has previously held posts at the University of Surrey, the University of Stavanger in Norway, the University of York, and Bristol Business School (University of the West of England).

Beth’s current work for INDEX draws on the methodological, epistemic and ethical insights acquired from engaging with the risks – and interpretative challenges- raised by the introduction of digital techniques and technologies into expert contexts and knowledge cultures, including those allied to business. Thus far, Beth’s work for INDEX has focused on interpreting expectations of blockchain adoption and the kinds of technoscientific imagining this involves, including those related to constructs of social good (Kewell and Ward, 2017; Kewell, Adams and Parry, 2017). Most recently, Beth has contributed to thought experiments concerning the future of money, personal data, privacy and the emergence of a digital literacy divide that places these three considerations in a new alignment, raising issues of note for social scientists, theorists of business, and analysts of the Risk Society.

Beth’s past engagement with Risk Society topics includes a co-authored archival study of UK Public Inquiries into iatrogenic incidents in the National Health Service (Kewell and Beck, 2008a) and a modal analysis of reports allied to the BSE Inquiry (Kewell and Beck, 2008b). While employed at the University of York, Beth co-investigated a European Union funded project (REMeDiE) concerning the growth and sustainability of stem cell science and the Regenerative Medicine industry (Kewell, 2013; Kewell and Beck 2011; Kewell et al., 2011). 

In 2014, Beth co-authored a monograph for World Scientific Publishing on the intellectual and epistemological history of risk entitled Risk: A Study of Its Origins, History and Politics (with Matthias Beck).

Nationality: British

Part of Initiative in the Digital Economy at Exeter (INDEX)


BA, PGCTHLE, PhD (Brunel)

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Research interests

  • Blockchain for Good (B4G)
  • Personal data, privacy technology and the Ontology of Money
  • Innovation, Future Studies and the Sociology of Expectations
  • Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  • Challenges confronting the Risk Society
  • The philosophy of risk and uncertainty
  • Qualitative methods, interpretivism and modal forms of discourse analysis

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Beck M, Kewell B (2014). Risk a Study of its Origins, History and Politics., World Scientific. Abstract.

Journal articles

Kewell B, Michael Ward P (2017). Blockchain Futures: with or Without Bitcoin?. Strategic Change, 26(5), 491-498.
Kewell B, Adams R, Parry G (2017). Blockchain for Good?. Strategic Change, 26(5), 429-437.
Maull R, Mulligan C, Godsiff P, Brown A, Kewell B (2017). Distributed Ledger Technology: Applications and Implications. Strategic Change, 26(5), 481-489. Abstract.
Kewell B (2013). Depicting the Uncertainties of Stem Cell Science. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 38(5), 599-620. Abstract.
Kewell B, Beck M (2011). Regenerative Medicine and New Labour Life Science Policy: Rhetorics of Success, Narratives of Sustainability and Survival. Prometheus, 29(2), 105-119.
Kewell EJ, Robson-Brown K, Webster A, Halls P (2011). Stakeholder Responses to Regulatory Reform: Evaluating Governance Changes with the Field of Human Tissue Regulation. Journal of Risk and Governance, 2, 27-43.
Kewell B (2010). Heteroglossic Representations of Scientific Uncertainty. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 36(6), 816-841. Abstract.
Kewell B (2009). ‘Probability But Not As We Know it’: Ignorance Construction in Genetic Biotechnology Discourse. The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society, 5(6), 1-18.
Kewell B, Beck M (2008). NHS Inquiries: a Time Series Analysis. Public Money & Management, 28(6), 375-382.
Kewell B, Beck M (2008). The Shifting Sands of Uncertainty: Risk Construction and BSE/vCJD. Health, Risk & Society, 10(2), 133-148.
Kewell B (2007). Linking Risk and Reputation: a Research Agenda and Methodological Analysis. Risk Management, 9(4), 238-254.
Kewell BJ (2006). Language Games and Tragedy: the Bristol Royal Infirmary Disaster Revisited. Health, Risk & Society, 8(4), 359-377.
Kewell EJ, Beeby M (2003). Student and Lecturer Responses to the Introduction of Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) into a New University Business School. Teaching in Higher Education, 8, 3, pp.413-430., 8, 413-430.
Kewell B, Ferlie E (2002). Calman-Hine Reassessed: a Survey of Cancer Network Development in England, 1999-2000. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 8(3), 303-311.
Kewell B, Hawkins C, Ferlie E (2002). From 'Market Umpires' to 'Relationship Managers'? the Future of the NHS Regional Offices in a Time of Transition. Public Management Review, 4(1), 3-22.


Adams R, Kewell EJ, Parry G (2017). Blockchain for Good? Digital Ledger Technology and Sustainable Development Goals. In Filho W, Marans R, Callewaert, J (Eds.) , Springer International Publishing, 127-140.
Kewell EJ, Linsley P (2017). Risk Tools and Risk Technologies. In Woods M, Linsley P (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Accounting and Risk,, Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
Morrison M, Hogarth S, Kewell EJ (2013). Biocapital and Innovation Paths: the Exploitation of Regenerative Medicine. In Webster A (Ed) Webster, A. the Global Dynamics of Regenerative Medicine: a Social Science Critique, Palgrave MacMillan, 58-87.
Ferlie E, Hawkins C, Kewell EJ (2002). Managed Networks within Cancer Services: an Organizational Perspective. In James R, Miles A (Eds.) Managed Care Networks, London, San Francisco, and Sydney: Aesculapius Medical Press, 1-13.


Kewell EJ, Godsiff P (2018). Digital Literacy and Datalockers: a Research Agenda. CADE, University of Warwick, Venice, 18th-20th of June. Competitive Advantage in the Digital Economy Forum (CADE). 18th - 20th Jun 2018.
Kewell EJ (2017). Blockchains and Wicked Problems: Mapping the Future Directions of the Digital Age. Ways of Being in the Digital Age. 9th - 11th Oct 2017.
Kewell EJ, Mulligan C, Godsiff P, Maull R (2017). Programmable Money, Digital Gold and the Future of Blockchain:. Categorizing the Affordances and Expectations of a Promising Technology. CADE. 1st - 3rd Jun 2017. Abstract.
Kewell EJ (2013). A Boundary Object with Modal Origins: the Word ‘Represent… and its Uses in STS Journals. the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S’s) Annual Meeting. 9th - 12th Oct 2013.
Kewell EJ (2010). Risk Epistemology and Narrative. Society for Risk Analysis (SRA Europe) Conference : Risk, Governance, and Accountability. 21st - 23rd Jun 2010.
Kewell EJ, Beck M, Asenova D (2007). BSE and Food Safety Regulation: a Comparison of UK and German Approaches. ESRC Risk and Rationalities Conference. 29th - 31st Mar 2007.


Linsley P, Kewell EJ (2015). Linsley, P. and B. Kewell (2015) Risk Management: Mindfulness and Clumsy Solutions.
Kewell EJ, Morrison M, Webster A, Brown N (2009). Measuring the Performance of Commercial Regenerative Medicine Companies: European Development in Global Financial Markets. Work Package 1: the EU in a Global Market: Investing in Regenerative Medicine. European Union, the University of York.
Kewell EJ, Hopkinson S, Oliver M, Conole G (1999). A New Kind of Knowledge Transfer? a Report into the Feasibility of Embedding Learning Technologies within the SME Market for Vocational Training.
Kewell EJ, Oliver M, Conole G (1999). Assessing the Organizational Capabilities of Embedding Learning Technologies into the Undergraduate Curriculum. The Learning Technology Studio Programme: a Case Study.
Kewell EJ, Oliver M, Beaumont D, Standen R, Hopkinson S, Conole G (1999). The Creation of Media Advisor: from Theoretical Framework to Multimedia Resource.
Oliver M, Kewell EJ, Bonnetti L, Conole G (1999). The Independent Learner: a Case Study.

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External Engagement and Impact

Invited lectures

  • Presentation to Mathematics for Industry: Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, The School of Mathematics at the University of Manchester, 8th of September, 2018.
  • Co-facilitated ‘Innovative Technologies and One Health – a Panel Discussion‘ (with Alex Cook, Head of VHive), held at the 5th International One Health Congress, Saskatoon Canada, 22-25th of June, 2018. 
  • ‘Overseeing the ‘Trust Machine’ in International Development: A Responsible Innovation Agenda.’ Paper to the Ox-Chain Workshop: Blockchain and the Global South, Coin Street Conference Centre, London, 22nd of May.
  • ‘Blockchain: Is it Going to be Any Good for Us?’ Food & Farming Futures Conference 2018: Innovative & Disruptive Technologies for Agri-food Supply Chains, The Slate, University of Warwick, 1st and 2nd of May.
  • Joint Keynote Speaker with Matthias Beck, ERRN 7th European Risk Conference, University of York 15th-16th of September.
  • ‘Analysing Risk, Contemplating Leadership: Reflections on an Executive-Level Interview Project.’ An invited contribution to Strategies for Advocacy, Knowledge Transfer, and Tangible Research Networking, 27th of November, 2015, The Willis Building, Lime Street, London (ESRC Seminar Series:  Lessons in the Management of People Risk: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach).
  • Invited Speaker and Panel Chair - 12th Annual Transatlantic Science Week, Washington D.C., 9th- 12th of November, 2013. Individual Presentation: ‘The Role of Reassurance in Risk Analysis: An Ethical Discussion Point.’
  • Book presentation- Risk: A Study of Its Origins, History, And Politics. SVT Centre, University of Bergen, 5th of September, 2013.
  • ‘Regenerative Medicine: An Industry at the Crossroads’ – with Matthias Beck, Queen’s University Management School, Belfast, 2012.
  • ‘Risk Management in the Age of Inquiry.’  A presentation to the ESRC Seminar on Risk and Resilience: Risk Management in the Public Sector. The York Management School, University of York: 10th of June, 2011.
  • Panel Member- Bringing Regenerative Medicine to the Clinic: Trials and Tribulations in Europe and Beyond. Regenerative Medicine in Europe (REMEDiE) Closing Conference, 18th-19th of April, 2011, The University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain.
  • Panel Member -Regenerative Medicine in the 21c: Managing Uncertainty at The Global Level, The Pyle Center, University of Madison -Wisconsin, USA, 9th-10th of June, 2010.
  • Kewell, B. and M. Beck ‘The Shifting Sands of Uncertainty: Risk Construction and BSE/vCJD – Making the Case for a Socio-Linguistic Paradigm in Risk Research.’ Presentation to the Paradigms of Risk Analysis and Uncertainty in Policy Research Workshop held at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), 14th-15th of May, 2010.
  • Kewell, B. ‘Beyond the Bull Market: Biocapital and Regenerative Medicine in a Changing Financial World.’ Presentation to Beyond Pattison: Challenges to Stem Cell Translation and Policy. Wellcome Trust, London, 7th-8th of May, 2009.
  • Kewell, B., Mkumbuzi, W., Beck, M., and P. Linsley ‘Accounting for the Costs of Regenerative Medicine: A Chasm Too Far?’ REMEDiE Workshop, Tulbingerkogel Hotel and Conference Centre, Vienna, Austria, 7th-10th October, 2009.
  • Kewell, B. ‘Uncommon Problems of the Heart: Talk of Risk in Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery.' Presentation to the Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, 12th December, 2008.
  • Kewell, B. ‘Language Games and Tragedy: The BRI Disaster Revisited.’ London School of Economics, CARR, 1st of May, 2007. 

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