Professor Diana Rose & Professor Nikolas Rose Join ANU School of Sociology

Professor Diana Rose & Professor Nikolas Rose Join ANU School of Sociology
Monday 26 July 2021

The ANU School of Sociology welcomes Honorary Distinguished Professors Diana Rose and Nikolas Rose.

Professor Diana Rose

Professor Diana Rose is a social scientist and mental health service user who undertakes research that examines mental health services from the perspectives of those who use or refuse them and takes this analysis beyond the clinical space. Diana is one of the pioneers of User/Survivor-Led and collaborative research. She has academic experience and also experience out of work and enmeshed in services. She is also an activist in the survivor movement. For twenty years, she lead the Service User Research Enterprise at King’s College London. Recently, Diana has conducted ethnographic research with User-Led Organisations (ULOs) to see how they fare in the current, and very complex, policy environment. Her work on consumer perspectives on Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) influenced National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

Critically, her work is informed by her own experience as both a researcher and user of adult mental health services. The ECT systematic review was led by two people who had experienced shock treatment themselves, Diana being the lead. She’s interested in conceptualising the generation of knowledge by ‘mad’ people and takes this well beyond what is known as "Patient and Public Involvement" in research . Bringing in other disciplines such as Science and Technology Studies, she problematises the question of ‘impact’ which preoccupies the field.

She empirically examines user involvement in research using concepts drawn from critical theory but modified because survivors are generally seen as ‘sick’ not ‘marginalised’ . She wants to see research and practice move away from the excessive ‘individualisation’ that characterises the psy disciplines and introduce concepts such as structural violence, hostile environments and social suffering. The main barrier she sees here is the positioning of users as lacking reason and as not ‘credible knowers’, what is known as ‘epistemic injustice’. Mainstream researchers and teachers are, as we know, objective, neutral, value-free and ‘universal knowers’. Diana is currently writing a book with the provisional title “Mad Knowledge and User-Led Research’ which should be published next year.

Professor Nikolas Rose

Professor Nikolas Rose is the world’s leading scholar in biosocial studies. He has published widely across numerous fields and disciplines, with work translated into 13 languages. He is a former Managing Editor of Economy and Society and Joint Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary journal, BioSocieties an interdisciplinary journal for the social studies of life sciences. His latest book is Our Psychiatric Future: The Politics of Mental Health.

In the early part of his career Nikolas pioneered a new approach to the history of the human sciences, demonstrating their grounding in attempts to render human social and political problems thinkable and manageable. This work, has had long lasting implications on ways of understanding the relations between psy knowledges, political power, expertise and the constitution of subjectivity and the self.

In the middle part of his career, he developed a novel approach to the analysis of political power itself, moving beyond the abstractions of state, civil society and market to explore the emergence of a range of rationalities and strategies for the government of human individual and social conduct. The concepts had a major and lasting influence on our understanding of contemporary political power. Subsequently he turned his attention to the life sciences and the neurosciences, arguing for social scientists to engage with the new ways of thinking and governing associated with the new life sciences - once more having considerable impact in the field. For example, he was Co-Director of the first publicly funded UK centre dedicated to synthetic biology, and a member of the Social and Ethical Division of the Human Brain Project, where he was head of the Foresight Lab leading a team of researchers exploring the social implications of new developments in biotechnology, and the democratisation of scientific research and technological development.

More recently his research has focussed on social medicine approaches to health and illness, and he led several major projects on mental health and migration to megacities in the Global South, funded in part by the ESRC, initially focussed on Shanghai and Sao Paulo and leading to ongoing international collaborations with social scientists, psychiatric epidemiologists and neuroscientists on these issues. With colleagues from Princeton and Harvard he founded the Global Social Medicine Network funded by the Wellcome Trust. His own work concentrated on mental health, the social history of psychiatric knowledge and practice, and the need for radically new thinking about the mental consequences of adversity. His work in this area led to a major award from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council for the King’s College London Centre for Mental Health and Society, of which he was co-founder and co-director until his retirement in 2021.


Updated:  28 July 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications