Dr Richard Milne
I am a research associate in the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, seconded to the PHG Foundation. My current research examines challenges involved in ‘translating’ biomedical research from ‘bench to bedside’. It currently focuses on the implications of biomarker-based definitions of Alzheimer’s disease and of the identification of observational cohort research as a resource for experimental medicine and clinical trials. This work builds on previous ethnographic research in a neuroscience lab researching a range of neurodegenerative disorders, focussing on the connections between epidemiology, experimental medicine and clinical practice.
My PhD research, completed in 2009, was conducted at University College London. Focussing on the case of biopharming – the production of pharmaceuticals in genetically modified crops – it explored the geographies of scientific futures, bringing together work in the ‘sociology of expectations’ with the geographies of food and technoscience. It examined the problematic relationship between biopharming and standardised conventional biopharmaceutical production, and the discursive, material and spatial strategies through which researchers repositioned the technology. My thesis is available to read and download here.
From 2010 to 2012 I was a Research Associate on the ERC-funded CONANX project in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. This research had two specific areas of focus, united through an analysis of the UK’s date labelling system and its emergence since the 1970s. Through focus group work with older people in Sheffield, I explored the role of safety information in older people’s use of food, with a particular emphasis on their place in routine practice, and the significance of disruptions to these routines. I also conducted some research on the capture and reproduction of taste in taste testing, prompted by an interest in ‘best-before’ labels as standardised predictions of food quality. Much of this research has been published and can be accessed through the ‘Publications’ page.
I can be contacted at rjm231 [at] cam.ac.uk