Research

My current research, funded by British Academy Post Doctoral Fellowship,  focuses on how computational tools (models, simulations) are utilised in public health decision-making processes, especially in pandemic preparedness planning. My interest is to study the predictive capabilities of these tools and analyse how risk and uncertainty are represented in the preparedness planning processes.

How do scientific facts life their lives? This question was studied as a part of “How Well Do ‘Facts’ Travel Project”, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and ESRC, led by Prof. Mary Morgan at Economic History Department, LSE. I developed a processual, evolving concept of life history in order to understand how our knowledge of infectious diseases changed over time and how computational tools and techniques modified and mediated the changes.

I studied two cases:

  • Reformation of vaccination strategies in the UK (the case of measles, mumps and rubella, MMR, vaccine);
  • Dissemination of ‘facts’ of transmission dynamics via simulation models (the case of Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria).

In particular, I focused on the dissemination of model-produced ‘facts’ across different research communities and to national health policies. My main interests were to identify the functional roles of factual claims and show their dependency on the production and utilisation contexts. I also explored how the mathematical representations in epidemiology led to the current increase of modelling methods.

My disciplinary background is in sociology and philosophy of science and science and technology studies. I finished my PhD at the University of Helsinki in 2007.

In my doctoral project, I studied the organisation of interdisciplinary modelling activities in public health work. I elaborated the importance of research questions as a guiding force of modelling. My thesis was titled “Questions to Artificial Nature: A Philosophical Study of Interdisciplinary Models and their Functions in Scientific Practice”.

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