Andy Balmer


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Personal profile


I have three main research areas: 1) sociology of everyday life; 2) creative qualitative methodology; and 3) sociology of scientific practices. 

My research in the area of everyday life is mostly concerned with lying, deception, secrecy and information management in routine interactions. I have also worked on the development and use of creative qualitative methods for use in social science for studying everyday life and for public engagement with science and research. Finally, I have conducted research into scientific practices and health/illness (mostly based on the case studies of synthetic biology, and dementia). 

I am happy to supervise PhD students in the following areas: lying, deception and secrecy; lie detection and surveillance technology; sociology of everyday lives; creative research methods. 


Supervision information

My current PhD students are:

Tom Bosak, 'Potent Connections with Celestial Bodies: Belonging to humanity and the meanings of astral objects in everyday life.' (SoSS +3 Scholarship)

Cedomir Vuckovich 'The Colonization of Higher Education: Power, Reproduction and Resistance' (ESRC 1+3 scholarship)

David Dobson, "Dementia, Sexuality and Secrecy" (ESRC 1+3 CASE scholarship)

Molly Drummond, "Safe Space Practices and Utopia" (AHRC 1+3 scholarship) 

My previous PhD students are: 

Gagun Chhina, 'An Ethnography of Video Game Play in India.' 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Editor of Sociology


Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology
  • HS Societies secret benevolent etc
  • H Social Sciences (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Dementia@Manchester
  • Biotechnology
  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing
  • Creative Manchester


  • lying
  • lie detection
  • deception
  • secrecy
  • dementia
  • synthetic biology
  • surveillance
  • collaboration
  • interdisciplinarity
  • responsible research and innovation
  • everyday life


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  • Simon Research Fellow

    Balmer, Andy (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively