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Natassia Brenman

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD


Senior Researcher

I am a social scientist working at the intersection of medical anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies. I use ethnographic methods to chart the changing landscape of healthcare and innovation, making visible patterns of inclusion and exclusion that emerge as a result. This speaks to a longstanding commitment to understanding and promoting more inclusive approaches to healthcare more broadly. 

I joined the department in November 2022 to work within the IRIHS research group on two projects funded by the National Institute for Health Research. ModCons is embedded in the wider programme of Remote by Default II, which contributes to the major debate about remote vs in-person care that has been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. I lead the ethnographic component of ModCons, exploring sociotechnical, political, and relational aspects of decision-making about different modes of consultation in general practice. In the OSIRIS study, I will contribute to a process evaluation to improve shared decision-making for patients as they contemplate high risk surgery.

My current projects relate to two major threads of my previous research: the problem of access to care, and the role of technology in shaping health and medicine. My ESRC-funded PhD, completed in 2019 at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was an ethnography of access in inner city London mental health services, highlighting the role of place in shaping in/exclusion in this context. My postdoctoral work, based at the University of Cambridge and Goldsmithsfocussed on the social and ethical implications of dementia prevention technology, including drug development and the acceleration of remote assessments in the pandemic

In my recent ESRC postdoctoral fellowship, I developed projects exploring conceptual questions arising from these technological developments: I co-edited the blog series,' Tracking Digital Psy: Mental Health and Technology in an Age of Disruption', and engaged the public in the problem of digital exclusion in an Our Sick Society podcast. I also established an interdisciplinary network on Intergenerational Futures in Public Health and am developing work on Interrogating Speculative Futures in the context of chronic illness.

I co-lead the Social Theory Group based in the department of Primary Care Health Sciences and I am a supervisor on the Translational Health Science MSc. I am also interested to hear from potential DPhil students who share my research interests.

Recent publications

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