Dr Meritxell Ramírez-i-Ollé

Title: Sociological Review Fellow of 2017
Email: m.ramirez-i-olle@keele.ac.uk
Location: Claus Moser Research Centre: Room CM1.10
Contacting me: email

I am The Sociological Review Fellow of 2017. As such, I am currently writing articles and a book from my doctoral dissertation. I also serve as a member of the Editorial Board of The Sociological Review, the oldest sociology journal in Britain. 

Prior to being awarded this writing fellowship based at Keele University (England, UK), I was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College London (England, UK).

In April 2016 I obtained a Ph.D. in STS from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My doctoral supervisors were Dr Emma Frow and Prof Steve Sturdy. As an undergraduate student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), I trained in the sociology of religion and the sociology of knowledge with Prof Joan Estruch and Prof Salvador Cardús.

My academic interests are in the sociology of science and the ethnographic study of the ways in which scientific communities both influence and are influenced by the wider society. I am also interested in research methodology, particularly the role and effects of the human relations generated by, and perhaps necessary, to social research. From my undergraduate years, I also keep an interest in the sociology of religion.

My work focuses on the question, “How do scientists and other technical experts try to learn about and solve the world’s most pressing problems?” In my doctoral thesis (and future book), I answer this question by explaining the results of my four-year long ethnographic study of a group of climate scientists and the ways in which they were able to know whether climate change is happening in Scotland.

In general terms, my main research finding is that doing science involves a necessary balance between trust and scepticism. This idea challenges popular views about science that set trust and scepticism in opposition and conceive systematic doubt to be a fundamental aspect of scientific practice.

With my research I aim to contribute to a wider public understanding of the nature of scientific and technical expertise, particularly climate change knowledge, and its role in democratic societies.

  1. Ramírez-i-Ollé, Meritxell (2010) “A Click to Reach God: a Literary Review of the Religious Use of the Internet” (in Catalan), Digithum: a Relational Perspective on Culture and Society (Journal of the Open University of Catalonia) Issue 12, available online: http://journals.uoc.edu/index.php/digithum/article/view/n12-ramirez

  2. Ramírez-i-Ollé, Meritxell (2015) "Rhetorical Strategies for Scientific Authority: a Boundary-Work Analysis of ‘Climategate’", Science as Culture, Volume 24, Issue 4, pages 384-411, DOI:10.1080/09505431.2015.1041902

  3. Ramírez-i-Ollé, Meritxell (2015) "The Social Life of Climate Science”, Method Quarterly, Issue 2, available online: http://www.methodquarterly.com/2015/02/the-social-life-of-climate-science/