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Dr Katie Ledingham

Dr Katie Ledingham



+44 (0) 1392 726681

Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

Katie joined the Business School in 2018 and has a background in i) social-cultural approaches to science, technology and non-human life and ii) the social dynamics of contemporary health and environmental challenges.

Prior to joining the Business School Katie worked with Prof Mark Jackson, Prof Steve Hinchliffe and Dr Felicity Thomas, developing a policy report and conceptual model for the World Health Organisation (WHO) exploring the social-cultural dynamics of antibacterial resistance (ABR).  The report highlights how social-cultural dynamics (including relationships of trust and economic inequalities) shape diverse practices of antibiotic use, ABR transmission pathways and the regulatory and research environments within which antibiotic innovation and ABR research takes place.  The report points to the critical importance of recognising how cultural dynamics impact on the generation of scientific knowledge and the development and delivery of health-care practices, and how culture can be a positive and affirmative resource that helps to open up new insights and create novel strategies for change. 

Katie was recently elected as Rapporteur for the World Health Organisations’ fourth expert group meeting on the cultural contexts of health.

Katie’s current work builds on her PhD research into synthetic biology.  Katie is working with Dr Sarah Hartley and colleagues in Mali interrogating the concepts of ‘knowledge co-production’ and ‘responsible innovation’ within the context of the development of mosquitoes engineered to tackle malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa (otherwise known as ‘gene drive’).  The project examines how high science might be practiced and developed in more just and ecologically sensitive ways.

Katie’s research draws together empirical fieldwork with social theoretical tools and sensitivities including Science and Technology Studies (STS) and biopolitics.


  • PhD Human Geography
  • Masters of Research (MRes) in Critical Human Geographies (Distinction and Dean’s Commendation)
  • BA Human Geography (First Class)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

Research interests

  • Social-cultural approaches to science, technology and non-human life
  • Social dynamics of contemporary health and environmental challenges
  • Responsible innovation & governance
  • Social theory and empirical philosophy (including STS, biopolitics and more-than-human geographies)

Awards and Honours

  • 2013 EPSRC & University of Exeter ‘Bridging the Gaps’ funding award
  • 2013 Todd Reynolds Paper Prize (Association of American Geographers)
  • 2012 University of Exeter Dean’s Commendation – Outstanding MRes Results
  • 2011 ESRC 1+3 Doctoral Scholarship
  • 2011 Norman Pye Prize – ‘Best Final Year Student, Geography, University of Leicester’
  • 2011 William Kirk Prize – ‘Best Human Geography Dissertation, Geography, University of Leicester’
  • 2010 College of Science and Engineering Prize – ‘Best Second Year Undergraduates, University of Leicester’
  • 2010 John H Paterson Prize – ‘Top Second Year Undergraduate, Geography, University of Leicester’
  • 2009 Michael Read Memorial Prize – ‘Top First Year Undergraduate, Geography, University of Leicester’
  • 2008 University of Leicester Entrance Scholarship
  • 2008 HSBC Award for Academic Attainment

External positions

  • Rapporteur, World Health Organisation (WHO) Expert Group Meeting on the Cultural Contexts of Health (2018)
  • Major Hazards Policy Researcher (Secondment), (GB) Health and Safety Executive (2014-2015)