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Dr Clive Lawson

College position(s)

Fellow, Director of Studies



Specialising in

Frank Wilkinson Official Fellow

Degrees, Awards and Prizes


Research themes

It’s fair to say that my research has moved around a little. Though my undergraduate degree was in Economics, my PhD was more philosophical than economic. After the PhD, my first projects were concerned with Economic Geography. Since then I’ve published in Sociology, Psychology and Politics journals, and been concerned with issues ranging from social ontology to the environment. My current research is centred upon the philosophy of technology. I have recently published a book called ‘Technology and Isolation’ which took me into a host different places including Heidegger, the Amish, autism and globalisation. The highlight of my research was probably turning up to a conference and finding a stream of papers discussing some of my earlier work (most of which I unfortunately missed!).


I’ve taught most things at some point (though not history or micro economics as far as I can remember). Currently I spend the majority of my time teaching statistics, maths and econometrics. An important motivation behind my teaching is the belief that it´s not very healthy for the results of statistical and econometric work to be taken too seriously (or viewed uncritically) just because they appear as technically difficult or impressive. I worry that much of the economics profession has become preoccupied by the details of different techniques and has lost sight of what is being achieved. So, in teaching, I am keen to de-mystify the technical side of economics, and I lay a lot of emphasis on explaining the intuitions behind the techniques that students are expected to use. In short, it´s not enough that students become familiar or competent with the technical material in the course, they also have to be comfortable with it, both intuitively and critically.


I am currently a co-editor of the Cambridge Journal of Economics. I was a co-founder of the Cambridge Social Ontology Group and the Cambridge Realist Workshop.

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