Professor of Sociology
Room: R2.32 (Ramphal)
Telephone: +44 (0)2476 523064
Simon completed his doctoral studies (in medical sociology) at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, in 1990. He joined the Department of Sociology at Warwick in 1992, first as a lecturer, then as a Warwick Research Fellow (WRF), becoming a Reader in 2000 and a full Professor of Sociology in 2006. Prior to this he was a Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) at the University of Kent.
Simon is a passionate teacher and an active member of the sociological community based on a strong conviction in the enduring power and promise of sociology in a complex, changing world. He is also strongly committed to interdisciplinary conversations, particularly those at the biosocial interface, and engagements with wider audiences and diverse publics, including media profiling of his work.
Simon has served on the editorial boards of a number of key international journals in his field (such as Sociology of Health & Illness; Health; Social Theory & Health), and regularly reviews for major funding bodies such as the ESRC, including panel membership of the ESRC seminar series competition (2014). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and a Regional Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM).
Simon's research to date falls into the following interrelated areas of sociology and politics pertaining to the body, health and emotion; bioscience, biomedicine, biopolitics; media, culture and everyday/night life. He also has longstanding interests in social theory (particularly realist social theory, psychoanalytically informed social theory, and biologically minded social theory) and social research methods (both quantitative and qualitative), including newly emerging interests in biosocial methods and complexity within the biological and social sciences today.
He has been notably active in recent years, as an outgrowth of his previous interests in body matters, in developing with colleagues sociological and interdisciplinary research agendas regarding sleep and society; see for example his recent discussion in Somatosphere and his latest RSA piece. This in turn has been augmented through other interrelated strands of research (some early, others established) on the sociology and politics of: pharmaceuticals, neuroscience, human enhancement, and new forms of monitoring, measuring, managing and optimising ourselves in the digital age.
Research awards to date include grants (as PI or CI) from funding bodies such as the ESRC, the British Academy and the NHS Executive, as well as the co-supervision of a number of successfully completed ESRC doctoral studentships and a current co-funded Warwick-Coeliac UK studentship. His latest ESRC funded project is on Medicated Sleep and Wakefulnes: A Social Scienfitic Investigation of Stakeholder Interests, Policies and Practices.
To date, Simon has authored, co-authored or co-edited over 100 publications, including books, co-edited volumes, journal articles, as well as special issues of key journals such as Body & Society (on "Sleeping Bodies"), Sociology of Health & Illness (on "Pharmaceuticals and Society"), and Subjectivities (on "Neuroscience and Subjectivity"). His latest book, published in 2011, is 'The Politics of Sleep: Governing (Un)Consciousness in the Late Modern Age' (Palgrave Macmillan). Other current co-edited projects include the Routledge/Taylor & Francis international 'Critical Studies in Health and Society' book series (Williams and Bendelow), which now has 8 titles in the series; a forthcoming special issue of Social Science and Medicine (Gabe, Coveney, Martin, Williams); and a forthcoming Sociological Review Monograph (Meloni, Williams, Martin). Two further collaborative book projects are also now in the early stages of discussion and development.
Teaching and Supervision
Simon convenes and teaches the following modules:
He has also taught on a range of other undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the Department over the years and successfully co-supervised a number of doctoral students. Simon is happy to discuss the prospects of postgraduate or post-doctoral research in any areas of sociology, particularly those mentioned above.