Dr Richard Milne

Senior Social Scientist, Wellcome Genome Campus

Contact information


Richard is a social scientist whose work addresses social and ethical challenges associated with new medical technologies, primarily in the domains of genomics and dementia, and the development of data-driven medicine. He is based in the Institute of Public Health and at the Society and Ethics Research Group at the Wellcome Genome Campus. He currently holds a Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Society and Ethics to study the development of digital tools for detection and diagnosis of cognitive decline, and co-leads ethics workpackages within the Innovative Medicines Initiative EPAD and AMYPAD projects, and research on participant experience within the MRC Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study.

His research is primarily qualitative, but he also co-ordinates the analysis of the large Your DNA, Your Say global survey on data-sharing at the Wellcome Genome Campus. He was previously co-lead of the Ethics of Big Data group at CRASSH, and conducted work with the MRC Dementias Platform UK around data sharing in the biomedical sciences. From 2013-15 he was seconded to the PHG Foundation health policy think tank to conduct research on ‘translation’ within the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.

Richard received his PhD in Science and Technology Studies, based in the interdisciplinary Institute of Human Genetics and Health at University College London. His first degree is in Human Sciences, also from UCL, and he has a MSc in Science and Technology Policy from the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. He has held teaching posts at UCL, the University of Sheffield and Birkbeck University of London.

Research interests

My sociological research examines the ethical and social implications of the development of big data platforms in biomedical research, particularly in the fields of genomics and dementia.


Milne, R. et al., (2019) “Trust in Genomic Data Sharing among Members of the General Public in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia,” Human Genetics, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00439-019-02062-0.

Milne, R. (2019) “The Rare and the Common: Scale and the Genetic Imaginary in Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Development,” New Genetics and Society https://doi.org/10.1080/14636778.2019.1637718.

Gregory, S., Wells, K., Borthwick, A., Saunders, S., Ritchie C. and Milne R. (2019) “Research participants as collaborators: Background, Experience and Policies from the PREVENT Dementia and EPAD Programmes Dementia

Middleton A, Milne R, Thorogood A, et al. (2018) Attitudes of publics who are unwilling to donate DNA data for research. Eur J Med Genet.. doi:10.1016/j.ejmg.2018.11.014

Milne R., Diaz, A., Bunnik, E., Badger, S., Fauria, K. and Wells, K. (2018) “At, with and beyond risk: expectations of living with the possibility of future dementia” Sociology of Health and Illness

Milne, R. (2018) “From people with dementia to people with data: participation and labour in Alzheimer’s disease research” Biosocieties https://doi.org/10.1057/s41292-017-0112-x

Milne, R., et al. (2018) “Perspectives on communicating biomarker-based assessments of Alzheimer’s disease to cognitively healthy individuals” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

Bunnik, E., Richard, E., Milne, R. and Schermer, M. (2018) “On the personal utility of Alzheimer’s disease-related biomarker testing in the research context” Journal of Medical Ethics

Bartlett, R., Sussams, R. and Milne, R. (2018) “Strategies to improve recruitment of people with dementia to research studies” Dementia

Stites, S., Milne, R. and Karlawish J. (2018) “Advances in Alzheimer’s Imaging are Changing the Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease” Alzheimer & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment, and Disease Monitoring

Milne, R., et al. (2017) Ethical issues in the development of readiness cohorts in Alzheimer’s disease research Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

Milne, R. (2016) In search of lost time: age and the promise of induced pluripotent stem cell models of the brain New Genetics and Society

Bemelmans, S., Tromp, K., Bunnik, E., Milne, R., Badger, S., Brayne, C., Schermer, M., Richard, E., (2016) Psychological, behavioral and social effects of disclosing Alzheimer’s Disease biomarkers to research participants – a systematic review Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy

Milne, R. and Badger S. (2016) Care and responsibility in building futures for Alzheimer’s disease research Boenink, M., van Lente, H. and Moors. E. (eds) Biomarker diagnostics for Alzheimer’s disease: innovating with care Palgrave Macmillan: London

Milne, R. (2013) “Arbiters of waste: date labels and the contingent definition of good, safe food” in Evans D., Campbell, H and Murcott, A. (eds.) Putting Waste on the Food Studies Agenda: Production, Politics and Everyday Life. (Sociological Review Monograph Series) Wiley-Blackwell: London

Milne, R. (2012) “Pharmaceutical Prospects: Biopharming and the Geography of Technological Expectations” Social Studies of Science 41(2)

Milne, R. (2011) “A focus group study of food safety practices in relation to listeriosis among the over-60s. Critical Public Health, 21(04), pp. 485 – 495.

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