Sarah Whatmore is a Professorial Fellow at Keble, Professor of Environment and Public Policy at the School of Geography and Head of the Social Sciences Division.
She has served as Pro Vice Chancellor for Education, the University’s Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research, the Division’s Associate Head (Research), and as Head of the School of Geography and the Environment. She is an active fellow of several learned societies (including the British Academy and Academy of Social Sciences), and an appointed member of the Defra Science Advisory Council and Chair of its Social Science Expert Group.
Professor Whatmore’s research focuses on cultures of nature and interrogates the ways in which human relations with the natural world are imagined and practiced in the conduct of science, governance and everyday life. She has published widely on the theoretical and political implications of these questions and is an acknowledged pioneer in what have become known as ‘more-than-human’ modes of enquiry, concerned with the material and ecological fabric of social life and the politics of knowledge through which this fabric is contested and re-made historically and today. Of particular interest are those situations and events in which different ecological epistemologies are brought into conflict. This informs a more recent body of work interrogating the relationship between science and democracy particularly in terms of the nature of evidence in the practices of environmental science and law and the role of expertise in environmental governance, now widely mediated by risk modelling techniques.