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Alison Adam

Professor Emeritus Alison Adam

Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society


My earlier research focused on feminist technoscience, especially gender and artificial intelligence (see my monograph - Artificial Knowing: Gender and the Thinking Machine (Routledge, 1998). I then moved into computer ethics with a study of feminist ethics and IT (Gender, Ethics and Information Technology (Palgrave, 2005)). I have also undertaken research in critical information systems and online privacy. Over the last ten or so years I have researched the history of forensic science in the 20th century with a focus on the UK. My book - A History of Forensic Science: British beginnings in the twentieth century was published by Routledge in 2016 demonstrates how a new interest in managing crime scenes arrived on British shores, from the Continent via British India and Egypt and was channelled into the ‘scientific aids’ movement of the 1930s - Continental and Colonial criminalistics in British clothing. My book charts the strategies of the new forensic scientists to gain an authoritative voice in the courtroom and to forge a professional identity in the space between forensic medicine, scientific policing, and independent expert witnessing. My edited book - Crime and the Construction of Forensic Objectivity from 1850 - brings together a range of chapters from experts in the field to chart the historical development of 'forensic objectivity' through an analysis of the ways in which objective knowledge of crimes, crime scenes, crime materials and criminals is achieved. I am continuing to research forensic science in the twentieth century and am now focusing on Scotland.


Culture and Creativity.


College of Social Sciences and Arts

Subject area



History of forensic science in twentieth century Scotland.


History of forensic science (specialising in 20th century Scotland).

Relevant Projects

I was a member of the RAE2008 sub-panel UoA37 (LIM) and was deputy chair of the REF2014 sub-panel UoA36 (CCMS/LIM).

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