Dr Dan Santos

Research Fellow

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at CPAS, working on an MRFF project entitled ‘Developing an Evidence–Based Model for Building Trust in Australian Stem Cell Research and Therapies’. I earned my PhD and MA (both in Geography) from Clark University, and a BA (Hons) in Environmental Studies and BSc in Genetics and Environmental Science, both from the University of Melbourne. In 2020-21, I was a Visiting Fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to joining CPAS, I was a Research and Teaching Assistant at Monash University and the University of Melbourne in human geography and bioethics.

Research interests

Broadly, I am interested in examining the social, economic and environmental dimensions of emerging biotechnologies, especially with respect to questions around innovation, public engagement and openness in science. My work draws on and contributes to debates in, and between, human geography (especially economic and nature-society geography) and science and technology studies.

In my doctoral research, I examined the democratization of biotechnology in community science labs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through ethnographic fieldwork, I analysed the geographical dynamics which shape the imaginaries and practices of efforts to make biotechnology accessible to a broader range of publics. In my postdoctoral research, I will contribute to investigating the potential value of a ‘commons’ for Australian stem cell research. This will involve examining the goals, values and components of a commons-type model that could help foster more transparency and trust in this growing field of research.