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Emma Frow

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Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5603
Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5603
Lincoln Professor of Bioengineering, Policy & Society
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5603
Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5603
Biography: 

Emma Frow joined Arizona State University in 2015 and holds a joint appointment with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) and the School of Biological & Health Systems Engineering (SBHSE). Her research focuses on the governance of emerging biotechnologies, with a specific focus on governance of/by the STEM research community. She studies governance from multiple perspectives, including for example conducting ethnographic research that traces decision-making practices at the micro-scale (governance through technology design), and designing experimental engagements with scientists and engineers (interdisciplinary collaboration as a form of governance).

After completing a PhD in biochemistry, Emma worked briefly in scientific publishing and then re-trained in the social sciences, gaining a master's degree n science & technology studies from the University of Edinburgh. She completed postdoctoral research at the ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum at the University of Edinburgh and at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and was an assistant professor in science, technology and innovation studies at the University of Edinburgh before moving to ASU.

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK
  • M.Sc. Science and Technology Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • B.A. Natural Sciences (Neuroscience), University of Cambridge, UK
Research Interests: 

Science & technology studies; Sociology of Science; Engineering studies; synthetic biology; expertise and interdisciplinarity; values; representation in scientific practice

 

Research Group: 

Emma is currently part of the following research projects:

Engineering Life project (funded by the European Research Council):

Synthetic cells that can learn without evolution (funded by the National Science Foundation)

Publications: 

Frow, E., Brafman, D., Muldoon, A., Krum, L., Williams, P., Becker, B., Nelson, J.P. & Pritchett, A. (2019) ‘Characterizing direct-to-consumer stem cell businesses in the Southwest United States’ Stem Cell Reports 13(2): 247-253.

Kuzma, J., Gould, F., Brown, J., Collins, J., Delborne, J., Frow, E., Esvelt, K., Guston, D., Oye, K. & Stauffer, S. (2018) A roadmap for gene drives: Using institutional analysis and development to frame research needs and governance in a systems context. Journal of Responsible Innovation 5(Supp.1): 13-39.

Delborne, J., Kuzma, J., Gould, F., Frow, E., Leitschuh, C. & Sudweeks, J. (2018) Mapping research and governance needs for gene drives. Journal of Responsible Innovation 5(Supp.1): 4-12

Frow, E.K. (2017) From ‘experiments of concern’ to ‘groups of concern’: Constructing and containing citizens in synthetic biology. Science, Technology & Human Values, doi:10.1177/0162243917735382

Frow, E.K. (2017) ‘Negotiating the values of space exploration.’ In Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures, eds E. Finn & J. Eschrich. Center for Science and the Imagination, Arizona State University, pp.253-259; available at http://csi.asu.edu/books/vvev/

McGurrin, P. & Frow, E.K. (2017) ‘Discussion Response: Governing citizen use of brain stimulation technologies: What role for scientists?’ Journal of Responsible Innovation, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23299460.2017.1359474

Frow, E.K., Smith, B. & Ankeny, C. (2017) ‘Freshman Design Course: Device design for low-resource settings,’ American Society for Engineering Education, Biomedical Engineering Division, Cleveland, 25-28 June; available at https://peer.asee.org/28387

Caplan, M. & Frow, E.K. (2017) ‘Promoting career reflection among freshman BME students,’ American Society for Engineering Education, Biomedical Engineering Division, Cleveland, 25-28 June; available at https://peer.asee.org/28771

Caplan, M. & Frow, E.K. (2016) ‘Work in Progress: Promoting career reflection among freshman biomedical engineering students,’ American Society for Engineering Education, Biomedical Engineering Division, New Orleans, 26-29 June

Balmer, A.S., Calvert, J., Marris, C., Molyneux-Hodgson, S., Frow, E., Kearnes, M., Bulpin, K., Schyfter, P., Mackenzie, A. & Martin, P. (2016) ‘Five rules of thumb for post-ELSI interdisciplinary collaborations.’ Journal of Responsible Innovation; doi:10.1080/23299460.2016.1177867

Balmer, A.S., Calvert, J., Marris, C., Molyneux-Hodgson, S., Frow, E., Kearnes, M., Bulpin, K., Schyfter, P., Mackenzie, A. & Martin, P. (2015) ‘Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations: Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK synthetic biology community.’ Science and Technology Studies 3: http://www.sciencetechnologystudies.org/node/2573

Evans, S.W. & Frow, E.K. (2015) ‘Taking care in synthetic biology.’ In Absence in Science, Security and Policy: From Research Agendas to Global Strategy, eds B. Rappert & B. Balmer. Palgrave Macmillan, pp.132-153

Calvert, J. & Frow, E. (2015) ‘The synthetic yeast project as a topic for social scientific investigation’. Macquairie Law Review Journal 15: 27-37.

Frow, E.K. (2015) ‘Rhetorics and practices of democratization in synthetic biology.’ In Knowing New Biotechnologies: Social Aspects of Technological Convergence, Weinroth, M. & Rodrigues, E. (eds). London: Routledge, 2015, pp.174-187.

Frow, E.K. (2014) ‘In images we trust? Objectivity in the digital age,’ New Representation in Scientific Practice, eds C. Coopmans, J. Vertesi, M. Lynch, S. Woolgar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 249-268.

Calvert, J. & Frow, E.K. (2013) ‘Social dimensions of microbial synthetic biology,’ in Methods in Microbiology, Vol. 40, eds C. Harwood & A. Wipat. Burlington: Academic Press, pp. 69-86.

Frow, E.K. (2013) ‘Making big promises come true? Articulating and realizing the value of synthetic biology.’ BioSocieties 8: 432-448.

Davies, G., Frow, E.K. & Leonelli, S. (2013) ‘Bigger, faster, better? Rhetorics and practices of large-scale research in contemporary bioscience.’ BioSocieties Guest Editorial 8: 386-396.

Mackenzie, A., Waterton, C., Ellis, R., Frow, E.K., McNally, R., Busch, L. & Wynne, B. (2013) ‘Classifying, constructing, and identifying life: Standards as transformations of ‘the biological.’’ Science, Technology & Human Values 38: 701-722.

Frow, E. & Calvert, J. (2013) ‘The future(s) of synthetic biology.’ Futures 48: 32-43.

Frow, E. & Calvert, J. (2013) ‘Can simple biological systems be built from standardized interchangeable parts?’ Negotiating biology and engineering in synthetic biology. Engineering Studies 5(1): 42-58.

Schyfter, P., Frow, E. & Calvert, J. (2013) ‘Synthetic biology: Making biology into an engineering discipline.’ Engineering Studies Guest Editorial 5(1): 1-5.

Frow, E.K. (2012) ‘Drawing a line: Setting guidelines for image processing in scientific journal articles.’ Social Studies of Science 42(3): 369-392.

Wiek, A., Guston, D., Frow, E. & Calvert, J. (2012) ‘Sustainability and anticipatory governance in synthetic biology.’ IGI International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development 3(2): 25-38.

Frow, E. & Yearley, S. (2012) ‘People, Policy and Plant Genomics.’ In Principles and Practices of Plant Genomics - Volume 3: Advanced Genomics, eds C. Kole and A. Abbott (New Hampshire: Science Publishers, Inc.).

Frow, E.K. Ingram, D., Powell, W., Steer, D., Vogel, J. & Yearley, S. (2009) ‘The politics of plants.’ Food Security 1(1):17-23.

Frow, E.K., Reckless, J. & Grainger, D.J. (2004) ‘Tools for anti-inflammatory drug design: in vitro models of leukocyte migration.’ Medicinal Research Reviews 24(3): 276–298.

Grainger, D.J. & Frow, E.K. (2000) ‘Thrombospondin 1 does not activate transforming growth factor-b1 in a chemically defined system or in smooth-muscle-cell cultures.’ Biochemical Journal 350: 291–298.

Research Activity: 

James Carothers (UW), Irene Chen (UCLA), Emma Frow, Matthew Lakin (UNM), Pamela Peralta-Yahya. Synthetic cells that can learn without evolution. NSF EF-1935087 (9/15/2019 - 9/14/2022)

Jane Calvert (Edinburgh), Emma Frow. Engineering Life. European Research Council ERC 616510-ENLIFE (1/3/2015 - 2/29/2020)

Seed grants

Emma Frow. ‘Automating the biological: The future of work and life in bioengineering,’ ASU Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), 2018-2019

Emma Frow. ‘Negotiating evidence and expertise around stem cell treatments,’ ASU Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), 2016-2017

Emma Frow. Consortium for Promoting Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE), 2015-2016

Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 394Special Topics
FIS 403Governing Emerging Technologie
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BDE 792Research
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 182Biomedical Prod Dsgn & Dev I
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
BDE 792Research
BDE 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 394Special Topics
FIS 403Governing Emerging Technologie
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 182Biomedical Prod Dsgn & Dev I
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ASU 101-BMEThe ASU Experience
FIS 333Governing Emerging Technologie
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
FIS 498Pro-Seminar
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 394Special Topics
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 592Research
BME 599Thesis
BME 792Research
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASU 101-BMEThe ASU Experience
BME 394Special Topics
BME 492Honors Directed Study
BME 493Honors Thesis
FIS 498Pro-Seminar
BME 598Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 182Biomedical Prod Dsgn & Dev I
FIS 498Pro-Seminar
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASU 101-BMEThe ASU Experience
BME 492Honors Directed Study
FIS 498Pro-Seminar
BME 592Research
BME 593Applied Project
BME 598Special Topics
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BME 182Biomedical Prod Dsgn & Dev I
Presentations: 

Selected Invited Talks

‘Standards for Engineering Life?’ STS colloquium, University of Virginia, 7 April 2016

‘The Future of Life’, evening panel discussion (with K. Haynes), Barrett Honors College, ASU, 14 March 2016

‘Reframing the debate around CRISPR and genome editing,’ New Tools for Science Policy, CSPO - DC breakfast seminar series, 9 December 2015; available online at http://cspo.org/event/ntsp120915/

‘CRISPR in context’, CSHL Summer School on Synthetic Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 7 August 2015

‘A crisis of trust? Setting guidelines for image processing in scientific journals’, EMBL Forum Seminar on Science & Society, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany, 19 June 2015; available online at http://www.embl.de/aboutus/science_society/onlineseminars/

‘Synthetic Biology in Context’, iBio online course on synthetic biology, 19 June 2015; available online at http://www.ibiology.org/ibioeducation/taking-courses/synthetic-biology-course.html

‘The social life of standards’, seminar at Synthetic Biology in Action – EMBO Practical Course, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany, 18 June 2015

‘Standards and sustainability in synthetic biology’, Cell Factories and Biosustainability conference, hosted by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark 17-21 May 2015

‘Engineering Life,’ BME 591 graduate seminar, Arizona State University, 27 March 2015

‘Disciplining the social sciences in synthetic biology,’ Medicine and Environment: What Kind of Interdisciplinary Collaborations for Synthetic Biology? Paris, France, 23-24 June 2014

‘Transatlantic governance of synthetic biology,’ UK-Brazil workshop on Responsible Innovation, University of Campinas, Sao Paolo, Brazil, 19-21 March 2014

‘Differences in the transatlantic governance of synthetic biology,’ Edinburgh Synthetic and Systems Biology Centre Open Meeting, University of Edinburgh, UK, 21 November 2013

‘Shaping matters of (non-)concern in synthetic biology,’ Issues and Non-issues in Science and Medicine Symposium, University of Exeter, UK, 27-28 September 2013

‘The social life of standards,’ Sixth International Meeting on Synthetic Biology (SB6.0), Imperial College London, UK, 9-11 July 2013

Honors / Awards: 

ASU Lincoln Professor, ASU Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics 2015-

Elected to Young Academy of Scotland, 2013-2016

Editorships: 

Editorial board member, Synthetic Biology

Associate editor, IEEE Transactions on Technology & Society

Professional Associations: 

Council Member, Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC), since Fall 2019

Society for Social Studies of Science (4S); American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE); International Network for Engineering Studies (INES)

Service: 

Judge and Human Practices Committee Member, international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, since 2009

Organizing Committee member, Sixth International Meeting on Synthetic Biology (SB6.0), Imperial College London, July 2013