Daniel Thorpe's profile

Daniel Thorpe

SPS Department

Science, Technology & Innovation Studies


2014 – 2019: The University of Edinburgh

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Science and Technology Studies, ESRC 1+3 (fees)

2013 – 2014: The University of Edinburgh                                                      

Master of Science (MSc) by Research
Science and Technology Studies, ESRC 1+3 (fees)

2007 – 2011: Goethe University Frankfurt am Main                                    

Magister Artium (M.A.)
Social Anthropology, Psychology and Southeast Asian Studies

Other educational qualifications: vocational qualification (Germany).

Awards and Funding

Economic and Social Research Council ESRC (grant: ES/J500136/1) (fees)

Research Interests

Sociology of knowledge and science Technology and society ethnography Situational analysis Environment aerospace science and technologies Environmental anthropology environmental politics postcolonial science and technology studies Science, technology and development Institutional capacity building Renewable energy and green politics

Teaching Experience

Tutor for "Technology in Society" (RCSS08003)                2017

Tutor for "Technology in Society" (RCSS08003)                2018

PhD Title

Unbundling "Indigenous" Space Capability: Actors, Policy Positons and Agency in Geospatial Information Science in Southwest Nigeria

PhD Supervisors

PhD Overview

Space Science Nigeria


Ever since the operation of the first civilian Earth observation (EO) satellites gained momentum in the 1970s, their history has been accompanied by debates over whether in developing countries social and economic development can be promoted through the transfer of space science and technologies, such as remote sensing techniques. Despite continuously growing political and social scientific interest, this debate has so far largely taken place at a comparative level with developing economies and their space programmes as the prime level of analysis. Based on a relevant critical review of development theory perspectives on knowledge and technology transfer to developing countries and corresponding discourses in postcolonial science and technology studies, my PhD research moves to the micro-level and provides an ethnography of geospatial information science (GIScience) in Southwest Nigeria. It addresses the limited understanding of social processes that accompany technology transfer by investigating how researchers, who use data from EO satellites, situate themselves in relation to relevant actors, how they conceive their work in relation to society and how they address practices that support their objectives. Research was conducted through multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork and situational analysis at GIScience institutions in Southwest Nigeria, comprising semi-structured interviews, focus groups, participant observation and document analysis.

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