Photo of Dr. Merryn Ekberg

Dr. Merryn Ekberg

  • Job title: Senior Lecturer in Health Sociology
  • Department: Sports, Exercise & Life Sciences

General information

Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (Melbourne)
  • Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) (Melbourne)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Melbourne)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Degree Supervision (Northampton).

Professional Experience

  • 1989-1990: Research Assistant in The Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne.
  • 1990-1998: Research Assistant at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne.
  • 1999-2002: Tutor in Sociology and Political Science, The University of Melbourne,
  • 2001-2003: Editor of The Melbourne Journal of Politics. A refereed journal produced by the Department of Political Science and The University of Melbourne.
  • 2002-2005: Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2002-2004: Course Coordinator and Lecturer for 'Science Communication' at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2005-2005: Lecturer in Sociology at Central Queensland University.
  • 2005-present: Member of Editorial Board, International Journal of Science and Research.
  • 2005-present: Senior Lecturer in Health Sociology and Bioethics, The School of Health, The University of Northampton, UK.


  • Member of University of Northampton Research Ethics Committee.
  • Member of the University of Northampton International Committee.
  • Member of the Editorial Board for The International Journal of Science and Research.
  • Member of the British Sociological Association.
  • Member of Organising Committee for Inspiring Transformation: The Arts and Health. Conference at the University of Northampton, September 2007.
  • Referee for the Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society.
  • Referee for the Economic and Social Research Council.


  • Programme Leader for MSc Health Studies.
  • Module Leader for SLSM100 Bioethics.
  • Module leader for SLSM004 Research Methods: Philosophy and Study Design. 
  • Module Leader for SLS2006 Body Matters.
  • Module Leader for SLS3005 Researching Populations' Health.
  • Module Leader for SLS3006 Ethical Issues in Health.
  • Teaching for SLS1007 Health over the Lifespan.
  • Teaching for SLS2009 Research Methods.
  • Supervision for SLS4001 Dissertation.
  • Supervision for SLSM019 Masters Dissertation.  

Current Modules

Body Matters

This module covers the sociology of the body, the reproducing body, the gendered body, the commodification of the body and body modification through enhancement technologies. It explores how the body is shaped by the interaction of structure and agency, by intrafamilial relations, and by representations of the body in the mass media.

Public Health

This module covers gender and health, ethnicity and health, local and global health inequalities, health policy, communities and health and health promotion. It covers the role of government in protecting and promoting the health of the population and the shift from the old to the new public health.

Ethical Issues in Health

This is an interdisciplinary module covering the ethical, legal and social issues associated with health policy, health practices and health technologies. It covers genetic testing, genetic privacy and genetic discrimination, surrogacy and the redefinition of the family, stem cells, organ transplants, inequalities and social justice. A common theme is examining how ethical decisions are made and shaped by social norms and values.

Research Methods

Philosophy and Study Design. This Masters module covers the different epistemologies that inform research and the different research traditions including positivism and interpretivism.  It covers qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies including grounded theory, ethnography, phenomenology, interviews, focus groups, survey design and data analysis.  


This advanced module explores the social construction of ethical issues, or how social problems come to be defined as ethical issues. It covers the development of moral agency and a moral consciousness, intergenerational justice, globalisation and global ethics. It also covers the formation of local and global social movements that are organised around ethical issues.   


  • The Ethical, Legal and Social Impact of the New Genetic and New Reproductive Technologies
  • The Ethical, Legal and Social Impact of Cloning and Stem Cell Research
  • Medical Sociology
  • Sociology of Science and Technology
  • The Governance of Biomedical Science


Jump to: 2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005


  1. Ekberg, M. E., Callender, M., Hamer, H. and Rogers, S. (2014) Exploring the decision to participate in the National Health Service Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 23(5), pp. 391-397. 0959-8278.
  2. Groves-Kirkby, C. J., Timson, K., Shield, G., Denman, A. R., Rogers, S., Campbell, J., Phillips, P. S. and Ekberg, M. E. (2014) Influences motivating smokers in a radon-affected area to quit smoking. Perspectives in Public Health. 134(1), pp. 44-56. 1757-9139.


  1. Ekberg, M. E. (2013) Eugenics past, present and future. In: Turda, M. (ed.) Crafting Humans: From Genesis to Eugenics and Beyond. Gottingen: V & R Unipress. pp. 89-109.


  1. Knight, J., Corr, S., Ekberg, M. E. and Redwood, T. (2011) Contextual influences on occupational identity in later life. Invited Presentation presented to: College of Occupational Therapists 35th Annual Conference and Exhibition, Brighton, 29 June - 01 July 2011. (Unpublished)
  2. Knight, J., Corr, S., Ekberg, M. E. and Redwood, T. (2011) Occupational identity in later life: contextual influences. Other presented to: International Occupational Science Conference, University of Plymouth, UK, 08-09 September 2011. (Unpublished)


  1. Knight, J., Corr, S., Ekberg, M. E. and Redwood, T. (2010) Occupational choice later in life. Paper presented to: Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists (CSOS) and Society for the Study of Occupation: USA (SSO:USA) Joint Research Conference: Redefining Boundaries and Bridges in Occupation, Ontario, Canada, 14-16 October 2010. (Unpublished)


  1. Knight, J., Ball, V., Corr, S., Turner, A., Lowis, M. J. and Ekberg, M. E. (2007) An empirical study to identify older adults’ engagement in productivity occupations. Journal of Occupational Science. 14(3), pp. 145-153. 1442-7591.
  2. Ekberg, M. E. (2007) Maximising the benefits and minimizing the risks associated with pre-natal genetic testing. Health, Risk and Society. 9(1), pp. 67-81. 1369-8575.
  3. Ekberg, M. E. (2007) The concept of health. Paper presented to: Inspiring Transformations: The Arts and Health Conference, University of Northampton, 3-6 September 2007. (Unpublished)
  4. Ekberg, M. E. (2007) The old eugenics and new genetics compared. Social History of Medicine. 20(3), pp. 581-593. 1477-4666.
  5. Ekberg, M. E. (2007) The parameters of the risk society: a review and exploration. Current Sociology. 55(3), pp. 343-366. 0011-3921.


  1. Ekberg, M. E. (2006) Genetic expectations. International Journal of Science and Research. 2(1), pp. 41-48. 1832-1011.


  1. Ekberg, M. E. (2005) Governing the risks emerging from the non-medical uses of genetic testing. Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society. 3(1), pp. 1-16. 1449-0706.
This list was generated from NECTAR on Thu Aug 16 21:58:15 2018 BST.

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