Zara Thokozani Kamwendo's profile

Dr Zara Thokozani Kamwendo


Research Fellow


Science Technology and Innovation Studies

E-Mail Telephone

+44 (0) 131 6514275


1.60 Old Surgeons' Hall

High School Yards

Edinburgh, UK


I am an interdisciplinary researcher working in the fields of history and sociology. My work is grounded in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK) and explores notions of rationality, the psychology of risk and bias, the relationship between the construction of scientific and religious knowledge, and the correlation between funding cultures and discipline formation.

I have a particular interest in questions around how and why knowledge is disseminated - why some kinds of knowledge spread quicker and more easily than others, how ideas are made popular, and the 'technologies of persuasion' that knowledge-makers (including myself) use to build and disseminate the knowledge we produce.

My academic background is in the Sociology of Religion (MA), the History and Theory of Psychology (MSc) and Science and Technology Studies (Ph.D.). I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh in 2017 on the history of the Heuristics and Biases Programme and Behavioural Economics. 

Research Interests

Historical sociology Technology and society Risk and bias Behavioural Economics Normativity Sociology of Knowledge Sociology of Religion

Research Overview

I am currently working as part of Engineering Life Project ( to support the implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in ERA CoBioTech - a multinational funding programme supported by the European Commission to advance new and emerging research in biotechnology. Together with CoBioTech we are exploring the possibilities of a "distributed RRI", a model of RRI that distributes responsibility across the programme as a whole and has a bearing on the day to day processes of all the actors involved including project members, funding partners, and grant reviewers.

The continuation of this is a research project where I will be part of a team to support ERA CoBioTech project members with the RRI strands of their projects and working with CoBioTech Work Package leaders to produce indicators to evaluate the programme and the projects that they fund. 

Dr Zara Thokozani Kamwendo has not added any teaching activity to this section yet.
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