Dr Javier Lezaun

Javier Lezaun

Javier Lezaun is James Martin Lecturer in Science and Technology Governance, and Deputy Director of the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society. He is Associate Professor in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, and a Fellow at Kellogg College. Javier studied sociology and political science at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, and received a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University.

Javier’s research focuses on the relationship between scientific and political change. His work explores the formation of public and counter-publics around new technologies, and the role of the social sciences in fostering new forms of citizen participation and democratic governance.


Email: javier.lezaun@insis.ox.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 288943 


Javier’s research focuses on the relationship between scientific and political change. His work explores the formation of public and counter-publics around new technologies, and the role of the social sciences in fostering new forms of citizen participation and democratic governance.

Javier has recently completed the project BioProperty: Biomedical Research and the Future of Property Rights. Funded by the European Research Council, this work explores practices of exchange and appropriation in the life sciences. Continuing this line of work, Javier is currently working the history of antimalarial drug discovery since the turn of the century, and the application of ‘open innovation’ models to the organisation of pharmaceutical R&D on neglected diseases.

Other ongoing research includes the development and release of genetically engineered insects, the governance of climate engineering technologies, and the design of experimental and performance-based methods for the involvement of citizens in public affairs.

Before joining Oxford, Javier taught at the London School of Economics and Amherst College. He is Academic Member of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre, a Research Associate at the LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, and Associate Member of the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process at Goldsmiths. He is a member of the editorial boards of Social Studies of Science, Science as Culture, Valuation Studies, Demonstrations, and Revista de Dialectologia y Tradiciones Populares. He is also a member of the editorial collective for Somatosphere, a website exploring the intersections of anthropology and science and technology studies.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

Lezaun, J. and Montgomery, C. (2015) The pharmaceutical commons: Sharing and exclusion in global health drug development. Science, Technology & Human Values, 40(1), 3-29.

Lezaun, J. and Porter, N. Containment or competition: Transgenic animals in the One Health agenda. Social Science and Medicine. 129:96-105
Woolgar, S. and Lezaun, J. (2015) Missing the (question) mark? What is a turn to ontology?. Social Studies of Science. 1-6

Kelly, A. and Lezaun, J. (2014) Urban mosquitoes, situational publics, and the pursuit of interspecies separation in Dar es SalaamAmerican Ethnologist, 41 (2), 368–383.

Lezaun, J. and Calvillo, N. (2013) In the political laboratory: Kurt Lewin’s “Atmospheres”. Journal of Cultural Economy

Woolgar, S. and Lezaun, J. (2013) The wrong bin bag: a turn to ontology in science and technology studies? Social Studies of Science, 43(3), 321-340.

Lezaun, J. and Kelly, A. (2013) Walking or waiting? Topologies of the breeding ground in malaria control. Science as Culture, 22(1), 86-107.

Lezaun, J., Muniesa, F. and Vikkelsø, S. (2013) Provocative containment and the drift of social-scientific realism. Journal of Cultural Economy, 6(4).

Lezaun, J. (2012) The pragmatic sanction of materials: notes for an ethnography of legal substancesJournal of Law and Society 39(1): 20-38.

Lezaun, J. and Schneider, T. (2012) Endless qualifications, restless consumption: the governance of novel foods in Europe. Science as Culture (forthcoming).

Lezaun, J. (2011) Offshore democracy: launch and landfall of a socio-technical experiment. Economy and Society 40(4): 553-581.

Marres, N. and Lezaun, J. (2011)  Materials and devices of the public: an introduction. Economy and Society 40(4): 489-509.

Lezaun, J. (2011) Bees, beekeepers and bureaucrats: parasitism and the politics of transgenic life. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 29(4): 738–756.

Lezaun, J. (2010) Eloquence and incommensurability: an investigation into the grammar of irreconcilable differences.Social Studies of Science 40(3): 349-375.

Lezaun, J. (2008) Self-contained bioethics and the politics of prohibition. Law, Culture and the Humanities 4(3): 323–338.

Lezaun, J. (2007) A market of opinions: the political epistemology of focus groups. Sociological Review 55(2): 130-151 [Also published in M. Callon, Y. Millo and F.Muniesa (eds.) Market Devices. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.].

Lezaun, J. and Soneryd, L. (2007) Consulting citizens: technologies of elicitation and he mobility of publics. Public Understanding of Science 16(3): 279-297.

Lezaun, J. (2006) Creating a new object of government: making genetically modified organisms traceable. Social Studies of Science 36(4): 499-531.

Lezaun, J. and Groenleer, M. (2006) Food control emergencies and the territorialization of the European Union.  Journal of European Integration 28(5): 437-455.

Lezaun, J. and Millo, Y. (2006) Regulatory experiments: GM crops and financial derivatives on trial. Science and Public Policy 33(3): 179-190

Edited books

Lezaun, J. and Sarat, A. (eds.) (2009) Catastrophe: Law, politics and the humanitarian impulse. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.

Book chapters

Lezaun, J. (2013) The ergonomics of democracy. In: K. Cupers (ed.) User matters: an alternative history of architecture. London: Routledge.

Rubio, F. D. and Lezaun, J. (2011) Technology, legal knowledge and citizenship: on the care of Locked-in Syndrome patients. In: P. Baert and F.D. Rubio (eds.) The politics of knowledge. London: Routledge, 2011, 58-78.

Lezaun, J. (2010) Bioethics and the risk regulation of 'frontier research': the case of gene therapy. In: B. Hutter (ed.) Anticipating risk and organising risk regulation. Cambridge University Press, 2010, 208-230.

Reviews and Commentaries

Lezaun, J. (2015) Speculative Markets: Drug Circuits and Derivative Life in Nigeria, by Kristin Peterson, Somatosphere

Lezaun, J. (2015) Democracy in America 3D. Journal of Cultural Economy.

Lezaun, J. (2013) The escalating politics of 'Big Biology'. BioSocieties, 8, 480-485.


Lezaun, J. (2014) Iconoclasm in the supermarket. Limn, Issue 4.

  • Actor-Network Theory

  • Experiments in Participation

  • THE WILD INDOORS: Room-Spaces of Scientific Inquiry

  • Crafting a public for geoengineering.

  • Responsible Innovation and political accountability: genetically modified mosquitoes in Brazil

  • Twilight in the leadership playground: subrealism and the training of the business self

  • Missing the (question) mark? What is a turn to ontology?

  • Containment and competition: Transgenic animals in the One Health agenda

  • Containment and competition: transgenic animals in the One Health agenda.

  • Democracy in America 3D

  • More
List of site pages