|Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology||32 Old Elvet: Room B1||+44 (0) 191 33 41506|
|Associate Member in the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS)|
I first came to Sociology in Durham in 2005 where I completed my PhD in the Sociology of Forensic Science, which continues to be my main research and teaching activity. I subsequently held positions at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Edinburgh, before returning to Durham in 2012.
I utilise and develop conceptual resources derived from Science and Technology Studies (STS) to research a range of social and policy issues, primarily related to forensic and biometric technologies, but also critical infrastructures (transport, water, information technology etc) and the environment.
My research on forensic and biometric technologies involves understanding how various stakeholders collectively construct the legal, ethical, epistemic, cultural and political-economic status of forensic and biometric technologies. I have compared biometric legislation across transnational, national and devolved jurisdictions. Biometric technology such as facial recognition and DNA analysis is finding increasing use beyond law enforcement, and I seek to identify and consider the social-ethical issues raised by the use of such methods in areas such as migration.
My work on the regulation and governance of critical infrastructures has examined a variety of jurisdictional and geographical levels, from the local to the transnational. I have published studies of air traffic control and groundwater management in the context of Californian drought. I have addressed climate change policy by developing a conceptual and methodological framework to study how the concept of ‘resilience’ affects spaces and communities.
My work has helped shape legislation and informed a number of parliamentary inquiries held in both Westminster and The Scottish Parliament. Between 2013-17 I was a member of the United Nations Resilience Academy (UNRA) which addressed the impact of climate change on the livelihoods of vulnerable communities. In 2015 I contributed to UNRA policy briefs on drought requested by the White House National Security Council. I also worked with UNRA colleagues to prepare a policy document circulated to delegates at the 2015 Paris UN Climate Change Conference.
- Forensic science
- Relationship between law and science
- Science and Technology Studies (STS)
- Sociology of risk and resilience
- Security and safety of critical infrastructures
- Social Construction of Technology
- Lawless, C. (in press). Forensic Science: A sociological introduction. Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315760551
Chapter in book
- Lawless, C. J. (2022). Emerging forensic genetic technologies: Contested anticipations of legitimation, caution and social situatedness. In V. Toom, M. Wienroth, & A. M’charek (Eds.), Law, Practice and Politics of Forensic DNA Profiling: Forensic Genetics and their Technolegal Worlds. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429322358
- Lawless, C. (2011). The Fallout from the Fallout: Risks, Hazards and Organizational Learning. In A. Alemanno (Ed.), Governing Disasters - The Challenges of Emergency Regulation (233-245). Edward Elgar Publishing
- Lawless, C., & Faulkner, A. (Eds.). (2012). Material Worlds: Intersections of Law, Science, Technology and Society. Wiley
- Lawless, C. (2023). How water features: negotiating and reassembling the sociomaterial politics of central Californian groundwater. Space and Polity, https://doi.org/10.1080/13562576.2023.2239153
- Lawless, C. (2023). Biometrics, presents, futures: the imaginative politics of science–society orderings. Science and Public Policy, https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scad071
- Lawless, C. J. (2022). The evolution, devolution and distribution of UK Biometric Imaginaries. BioSocieties, 17(3), 506-526. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41292-021-00231-x
- Lawless, C. (2020). Assembling airspace: The Single European Sky and contested transnationalities of European air traffic management. Social Studies of Science, 50(4), 680-704. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312720920704
- Akdemir, N., & Lawless, C. (2020). Exploring the Human Factor in Cyber-enabled and Cyber-dependent Crime Victimisation: A Lifestyle Routine Activities Approach. Internet Research, 30(6), 1665-1687. https://doi.org/10.1108/intr-10-2019-0400
- Lawless, C. J. (2018). Exploring the Socio-Material Boundaries of Climate Change Resilience. Environmental Sociology, 4(4), 434-444. https://doi.org/10.1080/23251042.2018.1449341
- Tanner, T., Lewis, D., Wrathall, D., Bronen, R., Cradock-Henry, N., Huq, S., …Thomalla, F. (2015). Livelihood resilience in the face of climate change. Nature Climate Change, 5(1), 23-26. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2431
- Lawless, C. (2013). Bounding the vision of a Single European Sky. The Geographical Journal, 180(1), 76-82. https://doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12038
- Lawless, C. (2013). The low template DNA profiling controversy: Biolegality and boundary work among forensic scientists. Social Studies of Science, 43(2), 191-214. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312712465665
- Faulkner, A., Lange, B., & Lawless, C. (2012). Introduction: Material Worlds: Intersections of Law, Science, Technology, and Society. Journal of Law and Society, 39(1), 1-19
- Lawless, C. (2011). Policing Markets: The Contested Shaping of Neoliberal Forensic Science. The British Journal of Criminology: An International Review of Crime and Society, 51(4), 671-689. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azr025
- Lawless, C., & Williams, R. (2010). Helping with Inquiries or Helping with Profits? The Trials and Tribulations of a Technology of Forensic Reasoning. Social Studies of Science, 40(5), 731-755. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312710378787
- Lawless, C. (2010). Managing Epistemic Risk in Forensic Science: Sociological Aspects and Issues. Sociology Compass, 4(6), 381-392. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00280.x
- Lawless, C. (2010). A Curious Reconstruction? The Shaping of ‘Marketized’ Forensic Science
- Lawless, C. (2012, December). Exploring the Sociotechnical Co-production of Risk, Resilience and Transnationality. Paper presented at 3rd Flying University of the Transnational Humanities, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
- Lawless, C. (2012, December). Bio-legality and Low Template DNA Profiling. Paper presented at ESRC Genomics Networks Conference 2012: Genomics in Society: Facts, Fictions and Cultures, British Library, London, England
- Lawless, C. (2011, December). The Fallout from the Fallout: Volcanic Ash, Risk and the Liminality of European Airspace. Paper presented at European Group of Organisation Studies (EGOS) 27th Annual Symposium, Gothenburg, Sweden
- Lawless, C. (2011, December). Aviation Security: Interdisciplinary Challenges, Interdisciplinary Futures. Paper presented at Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Summit, Washington D.C., USA
- Lawless, C. (2011, December). Societal Barriers to Technological Knowledge Transfer. Paper presented at Lloyds Register Educational Trust (LRET) Global Technical Leadership Forum on Fire Safety Engineering, Gullane, Scotland
- Lawless, C. (2010, December). The Disputed Territory of Forensics: Competing Claims to the Epistemic Identity of the Law-Science Interface. Paper presented at Annual Meeting, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Tokyo, Japan
- Lawless, C. (2010, December). Risk, Hazard and Organizational Learning. Paper presented at 1st HEC Workshop on Regulation, Ecoles de Haute Etudes Commerciales Paris, Paris, France
- Lawless, C. (2009, December). Risk, Regulation and Forensic Science: Challenges and Opportunities. Paper presented at Forensic Science Society 50th Anniversary Conference, Harrogate, England