St Catherine’s boasts one of the friendliest Human Sciences departments in the university, with around four students in each year group. Current students comment that this helps each student in a variety of ways: there is always someone with whom they can discuss a particular idea, or with whom they can share a concern; they help one another practically, finding set books, or communicating with tutors. Their learning is not only intellectually demanding but sociable too.
One feature of Human Sciences at St Catherine’s are the research interests of the college tutors. These research interests enrich tutorial teaching and act as a potential source of expertise should students decide to pursue related topics in their third year dissertations. In alphabetical order:
- Naomi Freud is a biological anthropologist whose research interests include the physiological and behavioural plasticity of humans, risk minimisation strategies adopted by contemporary and historical societies to maximise food security and minimise vulnerability to disease; unintended consequences and building in reversibility when making decisions.
- Konstantina Isodoros is an ecological anthropologist whose interests are in human/non-human ecological relations, evolutionary theory and kinship, arid zone habitations and climate change.
- Nick Martindale is a sociologist and a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. His current research focuses on the class structure of modern Britain, protest and occupational mobility among precarious workers, and the state school system.
- Adam Ritchie teaches genetics and his main academic interests are infectious disease, vaccines, policy, and translating laboratory research into real world impact. He is based at the Jenner Institute, where he works in vaccine development across several diseases, including Covid-19 and rabies.
- Athar Yawar teaches physiology and is a medical doctor and psychiatrist. He was one of the founding clinicians of the Helen Bamber Foundation and has done psychiatry and medico-legal work at Freedom from Torture.
We have a large and regularly updated collection of Human Sciences books in the college library with more than one copy of the most popular texts.
St Catherine’s is located next door to the Social Sciences Library. Although the Human Sciences Centre is slightly further away, the walk across the University Parks is very pleasant.
Students from St Catherine’s have gone on to pursue a wide range of careers, including medicine, television and film, finance, international development, and academic research in a number of different fields.
A fledgling society for Human Sciences at Catz maintains contact with former and present students to allow a social and intellectual engagement which builds on common and unique interests from a supportive base.