Catherine Heeney's profile

Dr Catherine Heeney


Research Fellow - Making Genomic Medicine/Global Digital Exemplars


Science Technology and Innovation Studies

E-Mail Telephone



2.92 Old Surgeons' Hall

High School Yards

Edinburgh, UK


From January 2014 Catherine has been working on the Risk strand of the Wellcome Trust funded project Making Genomic Medicine, headed by Steve Sturdy.  The focus of the work is to understand how risk is related to historical developments leading up to and following from the mapping and sequencing of the human genome.  Of particular interest is the relationship between risk and the changing understandings of what the gene is and can do, understandings shaped by interaction with various configurations of social and technical factors.  

From autumn 2010 until the end of 2013 Catherine was working as researcher based at the Spanish National Research Centre in Madrid in the Department of Science, Technogy and Gender at the Institute of Philosophy.  This research focussed on a biomedical research network engaged in the translation of basic genomic science to clinical applications for a common complex disease.  

Previously she has worked at the Ethox centre within the Department of Public Health at the University of Oxford on an EU FP7 project looking at the ethical and social issues around the development and implementation of micro array technology into the clinic and a Wellcome Trust funded project exploring the governance of genetic databases in the UK.

Catherine is interested in the flow and use of data in genomic and statistical research both from a sociological and ethics perspective.

Research Interests

Research Ethics Science and technology genomics

Dr Catherine Heeney has not added any teaching activity to this section yet.

PhD Topics

I am interested in supervising projects dealing with sceintific ethics using an empirical approach, I am especially interested in developments in biomedical data sharing from an STS, ethics and governance perspective.

Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with:

PhD in Science and Technology Studies; MSc (R) Science and Technology Studies; MSc (R) Sociology

Peer Reviewed Articles

Balancing the local and the universal in maintaining ethical access to a genomics biobank

Heeney, C. & Kerr, S. 28 Dec 2017 In : BMC Medical Ethics. 18, 1, p. 1-11 11 p.

An "ethical moment" in data sharing

Heeney C, 2017, Science Technology and Human Values, 42:1, 3–28

Perspectives on Open Science and scientific data sharing: an interdisciplinary workshop

Destro Bisol G, Anagnostou P, Capocasa M, Bencivelli S, Cerroni A, Contreras J, Enke N, Fantini B, Greco P, Heeney C, Luzi D, Manghi P, Mascalzoni D, Molloy J, Parenti F, Wicherts J, Boulton G. 2014, Journal of Anthropological Sciences.; 92:179-200

Breaching the Contract? Privacy and the UK Census

Heeney, C. 2012 In : The Information Society. 28, 5, p. 316-328 13 p.

Assessing the Privacy Risks of Data Sharing in Genomics

Heeney, C., Hawkins, N., de Vries, J., Boddington, P. & Kaye, J. 2011 In : Public health genomics. 14, 1, p. 17-25 9 p.

Public Access to Genome-Wide Data: Five Views on Balancing Research with Privacy and Protection

Church, G., Heeney, C., Hawkins, N., de Vries, J., Boddington, P., Kaye, J., Bobrow, M., Weir, B. & P3G Consortium Oct 2009 In : PLoS Genetics. 

How to Get There from Here: Re-Use of Administrative Records in the Netherlands and the UK

Heeney, C, 2008, Scripted, Volume 5, Issue 2, August 2008

Governing genetic databases: Challenges facing research regulation and practice

Gibbons, S. M. C., Kaye, J., Smart, A., Heeney, C., Parker, M. & Heeney, C. Jun 2007 In : Journal of Law and Society. 34, 2, p. 163-189 27 p.

Institutional shaping of interagency working: Managing tensions between collaborative working and client confidentiality

6, P., Bellamy, C., Raab, C., Warren, A., Heeney, C. & Heeney, C. Jul 2007 In : Journal of public administration research and theory. 17, 3, p. 405-434 30 p.