Dr Will Mason-Wilkes PhD

Dr Will Mason-Wilkes

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Assistant Professor in Engineering, Technology and Innovation in Society

Contact details

School of Engineering (Y8)
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Will is a Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholar interested in media and popular culture representations of science & technology and the interactions and intersections between science & technology, media, citizens and society.

He has authored and co-authored several journal articles and chapters in edited books in the fields of STS, science communication and science & belief, and is currently co-editing a collection Most Adaptable to Change: Evolution and Religionin Global Popular Media. He leads a strand of research on the ESRC funded Future Flight Challenge Social Science Research Director: Phase 2 project, and has previously won competitive grant funding to lead his own project on atheist and non-religious people’s engagement with science media.

Will also co-hosts the Science & Belief in Society Podcast.


  • PhD, Sociology, Cardiff University, 2018
  • MSc (Distinction), Social Science Research Methods, Cardiff University, 2013
  • MA (Merit), History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, 2011
  • BA Joint Hons. (Upper Second Class), History and Philosophy of Science & Theology and Religious Studies, 2010


Dr Will Mason-Wilkes is a Research Fellow in Popular Culture and Media in the Institute for STEMM in Culture and Society (ISTEMMiCS), where he works across a number of projects. These include the 'Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum of Global Perspectives' project where he is co-editing a volume, along with Dr Alexander Hall, on global historical and contemporary media representations of evolutionary science and religion; the 'INSBS Internationalisation Grant' project, where he is supporting the development of an international network of researchers interested in science, belief and society; and working with the UKRI Future Flight Challenge Social Science Research Director to develop a programme of social research into future flight technologies.

Will completed his doctoral research at Cardiff University in the School of Social Sciences, graduating in 2018. Will has worked as a Research Associate on the ‘Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum’ project at Newman University before working as a Data and Research Analyst for the Welsh Government.




Dr Will Mason-Wilkes is a Research Fellow in Popular Culture and Media with a background in Science and Technologies Studies (STS). His current research foci include international media representations of evolutionary science and religion, atheist and non-religious people's engagement with popular representations of science, and public narratives of and engagement with novel technologies of flight. He is interested in the intersections of and interactions between science, technology, belief, media, public(s) and democracy.


Recent publications


Collins, H, Evans, R, Innes, M, Kennedy, EB, Mason-Wilkes, W & McLevey, J 2022, The Face-to-Face Principle: Science, Trust, Democracy and the Internet. Cardiff University. https://doi.org/10.18573/book7


Riley, J & Mason-Wilkes, W 2024, 'Dark citizen science', Public Understanding of Science, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 142-157. https://doi.org/10.1177/09636625231203470

Mason-Wilkes, W 2023, 'Emphasizing uncertainty, celebrating community and valuing values: science communication remedies for the COVID-19 era and beyond', Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2022.2152245

Collins, H, Leonard-Clarke, W & Mason-Wilkes, W 2023, 'Scientific conferences, socialization, and the Covid-19 pandemic: a conceptual and empirical enquiry', Social Studies of Science, pp. 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1177/03063127221138521

Mason-Wilkes, W 2020, 'Book Review: Elaine Howard Ecklund, David R Johnson, Brandon Vaidyanathan, Kirstin RW Matthews, Steven W Lewis, Robert A Thomson Jr and Di Di Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion', Public Understanding of Science, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 666. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662520914192

Mason‐wilkes, W 2020, 'DIVINE DNA? “SECULAR” AND “RELIGIOUS” REPRESENTATIONS OF SCIENCE IN NONFICTION SCIENCE TELEVISION PROGRAMS', Zygon: journal of religion and science, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 6-26. https://doi.org/10.1111/zygo.12574

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Elsdon-Baker, F & Mason-Wilkes, W 2019, The Sociological Study of Science and Religion in Context. in Science, Belief and Society: International Perspectives on Religion, Non-Religion and the Public Understanding of Science. Bristol University Press.

Review article

Mason-Wilkes, W 2019, 'Book Review: Steve Fuller, Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game', Sociology, vol. 53, no. 6, pp. 1198. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038519841830

View all publications in research portal