Biography

Michael has an MA (by Research and Thesis) and PhD from the interdisciplinary Institute for Science and Society (ISS) at the University of Nottingham. He also holds a BSc in Biology from the University of St. Andrews (2000). Michael currently leads the ESRC funded project 'Biomodifying technologies and experimental space’, which brings together researchers from the Universities of Oxford, Sussex and York. This project examines three '‘gateway technologies’ with wide-ranging applications in medicine and the life sciences; gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and 3D printing of living material. Each of these technologies enables researchers to modify living biological tissue in novel and increasingly patient-orientated and customized ways, which challenge the suitability of traditional manufacturing, governance and reimbursement pathways designed for small molecule pharmaceuticals or medical devices.

Michael has previously worked on the IMI STEMBANCC project, providing governance and ethical support to this European public-private partnership in stem cell biobanking. He has also been a researcher on the European Framework Programme 7 'Regenerative Medicine in Europe' (REMEDiE) project at the University of York and with the Health Technology and Society group at the University of Exeter.

Publications

Recent additions

  • M Morrison, HJA Teare and G Bertier and others, 'Implications of secondary findings for clinical contexts' in M Langanke| P Erdmann| K Brothers (ed), Secondary Findings in Genomic Research (Elsevier 2020)
  • Martin, P., M Morrison, Turkmendag I and Nerlich B, 'Genome editing: the dynamics of continuity, convergence, and change in the engineering of life' (2020) 39 New Genetics and Society 219
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14636778.2020.1730166
    Genome editing enables very accurate alterations to DNA. It promises profound and potentially disruptive changes in healthcare, agriculture, industry, and the environment. This paper presents a multidisciplinary analysis of the contemporary development of genome editing and the tension between continuity and change. It draws on the idea that actors involved in innovation are guided by “sociotechnical regimes” composed of practices, institutions, norms, and cultural beliefs. The analysis focuses on how genome editing is emerging in different domains and whether this marks continuity or disruption of the established biotechnology regime. In conclusion, it will be argued that genome editing is best understood as a technology platform that is being powerfully shaped by this existing regime but is starting to disrupt the governance of biotechnology. In the longer term is it set to converge with other powerful technology platforms, which together will fundamentally transform the capacity to engineer life.
  • M Morrison, 'Research using free text data in medical records could benefit from dynamic consent and other tools for responsible governance' (2020) Journal of Medical Ethics 367
    DOI: http:// dx. doi. org/ 10. 1136/m edethics-2 019- 105472
    As the capacity to generate, store, aggregate and combine ever greater volumes and types of data about individuals, behaviours and interactions continues to expand apace, so too does the challenge of ensuring suitable and appropriate governance of that data. In broad terms, the challenge is simple; how to ensure the (public) benefits of data, such as improvements in service delivery or individual and collective well-being, while avoiding harms such as discrimination, injustice or placing undue burdens on individuals and groups. The difficulty, as ever, lies in the details. As Nicol et al observe, informed consent is important but does not replace the need for an appropriate governance framework that covers the wider ecosystem of data generation, use and reuse. Moreover, there is no one universal oversight mechanism for data sharing, but what counts as ‘appropriate’ must take into account the context and purpose of data use. In this regard, the study by Ford et al is an important and valuable contribution to our understanding of the specificities involved in sharing data contained within Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for clinical, quality improvement and comparative effectiveness research in healthcare. The paper provides empirical evidence, from a citizen’s jury, to support the intuition that transferring free text data from a clinical care setting to that of research, especially research conducted outside the National Health Service by academic researchers who are unlikely to have any direct relationship with the data providers-cum-research participants, is at risk of transgressing the contextual integrity of the initial data generation.

Journal Article (26)

Martin, P., M Morrison, Turkmendag I and Nerlich B, 'Genome editing: the dynamics of continuity, convergence, and change in the engineering of life' (2020) 39 New Genetics and Society 219
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14636778.2020.1730166
Genome editing enables very accurate alterations to DNA. It promises profound and potentially disruptive changes in healthcare, agriculture, industry, and the environment. This paper presents a multidisciplinary analysis of the contemporary development of genome editing and the tension between continuity and change. It draws on the idea that actors involved in innovation are guided by “sociotechnical regimes” composed of practices, institutions, norms, and cultural beliefs. The analysis focuses on how genome editing is emerging in different domains and whether this marks continuity or disruption of the established biotechnology regime. In conclusion, it will be argued that genome editing is best understood as a technology platform that is being powerfully shaped by this existing regime but is starting to disrupt the governance of biotechnology. In the longer term is it set to converge with other powerful technology platforms, which together will fundamentally transform the capacity to engineer life.
M Morrison, 'STS and enhancement technologies: A programme for future research' (2015) 28 Science and Technology Studies

Chapter (2)

M Morrison, HJA Teare and G Bertier and others, 'Implications of secondary findings for clinical contexts' in M Langanke| P Erdmann| K Brothers (ed), Secondary Findings in Genomic Research (Elsevier 2020)

Other (3)

M Morrison, 'Research using free text data in medical records could benefit from dynamic consent and other tools for responsible governance' (2020) Journal of Medical Ethics 367
DOI: http:// dx. doi. org/ 10. 1136/m edethics-2 019- 105472
As the capacity to generate, store, aggregate and combine ever greater volumes and types of data about individuals, behaviours and interactions continues to expand apace, so too does the challenge of ensuring suitable and appropriate governance of that data. In broad terms, the challenge is simple; how to ensure the (public) benefits of data, such as improvements in service delivery or individual and collective well-being, while avoiding harms such as discrimination, injustice or placing undue burdens on individuals and groups. The difficulty, as ever, lies in the details. As Nicol et al observe, informed consent is important but does not replace the need for an appropriate governance framework that covers the wider ecosystem of data generation, use and reuse. Moreover, there is no one universal oversight mechanism for data sharing, but what counts as ‘appropriate’ must take into account the context and purpose of data use. In this regard, the study by Ford et al is an important and valuable contribution to our understanding of the specificities involved in sharing data contained within Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for clinical, quality improvement and comparative effectiveness research in healthcare. The paper provides empirical evidence, from a citizen’s jury, to support the intuition that transferring free text data from a clinical care setting to that of research, especially research conducted outside the National Health Service by academic researchers who are unlikely to have any direct relationship with the data providers-cum-research participants, is at risk of transgressing the contextual integrity of the initial data generation.
M Morrison, J Bell and R Isasi, 'Chapter 2: stem cell use' (2018) Genotoul Societal Governing Stem cells Regenerative medicine in Europe: the vision and recommendations from the EU CelLEX project

Internet Publication (1)

Report (1)

Research programmes

Research projects

Research Interests

Michael’s primary research interest and expertise lies in the application of insights and perspectives from Science and Technology Studies (STS) and medical sociology to the study of novel and emerging biotechnologies. More specifically, he is concerned with understanding the ways in which these technologies are shaped by a variety of social factors – including institutional and regulatory cultures as well as the perspectives of developers and prospective users – throughout the course of their development and deployment into practice; and how, in turn, new biomedical technologies shape and reconfigure our understandings of disease, health, and the ‘sorts’ of people we are or can be. He is also working with Jane Kaye and other HeLEX members to develop novel consent procedures for large-scale biobanking projects.

Research projects