Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society


About the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society


CBSS logo


The Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society (CBSS) is a multidisciplinary research centre that builds on the University of Edinburgh’s unique history of leadership in social studies of science and medicine to scrutinise the complex social, cultural and technological landscape that characterises contemporary biomedicine and health care.


Bringing together established and emerging research leaders from across the University, the Centre aims to address the pressing problems currently facing biomedicine and society, and to effect lasting change in approaches to, developments from, and perspectives on global biomedical research. To that end, our work combines novel, integrative social science and humanities research with innovative approaches to collaboration, stakeholder and public engagement. 

Our work is anchored in five key research themes, each representing a key site of fundamental socio‐technical transformation in biomedicine and society. These are:

  • Beyond Disease
  • Beyond Bodies
  • Beyond Engagement 
  • Beyond the Legal
  • Beyond the Global
  • We also have a cross-cutting theme Beyond Data.

Our multi-disciplinary approach will generate novel findings and perspectives with transformative implications for biomedical governance, research and practice, to be realised through:

  • A responsive research strand to provide rapid, insightful and practicable analyses of current and emerging concerns in biomedicine and health

  • Visiting fellowships for scientists wishing to pursue collaborative social scientific research


The Centre was established with a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award.  We work closely with the three other social science and humanities Centres funded by Wellcome: