School of Law

Dr Monica M.E. Bonaccorso, Laurea; MPhil; PhD

Monica M.E.

Senior Research Fellow

Room Number: Mile End


Dr Monica M.E. Bonaccorso joined Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) as Senior Research Fellow following a position as Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a position as Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Medical Research Group at the Department of Anthropology, University of Durham.

Dr Bonaccorso began her academic career as Affiliated Lecturer and Wellcome Trust Fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University, and as Director of Studies at Peterhouse. Prior to moving to the UK and becoming an academic, Monica worked as a professional journalist for the daily and weekly national press writing on culture, science and society.

Dr Bonaccorso obtained her MPhil and PhD in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University (King’s College) respectively in 1996 and 2001 and a doctoral degree in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Milan in 1993. She also fully qualified in journalism in 1989 and 1997.


Dr Bonaccorso’s primary research interests and expertise address the national and transnational production, representation and communication of new scientific/medical knowledge and the role that such processes play in encouraging narratives (and choices) in other arenas of cultural and social life – namely kinship, gender, (bio)ethics and health/human rights. She has worked on perceptions and experiences of assisted conception and gamete donation, new genetics, common neurological disorders and HIV/AIDS and Malaria carrying out extensive fieldwork in Italy, the UK and Kenya.

Current Research Projects


With the Public in Mind: Ethnographic Investigations of Medical Science and the Media in Kenya - Phase II, Wellcome Trust, London, UK.

This project is in its second phase. The project explores knowledge production and dissemination/awareness initiatives of transnational/national research institutes, the media, civil society (NGOs, CBOs, FBOs) with respect to HIV/AIDS and Malaria as well as diverse publics’ perceptions of such initiatives in Kenya. Central is the question of how institutions and organisations access their respective publics and in turn how such publics make sense and consume what is conveyed to them. Do institutions and publics successfully talk to each other? Equally central is how and if a successful politics of “rights to health” is generated, and how and if this fits with entrenched cultural practices, including ways of conceiving kinship and gender relations.

Previous Research Projects

  • 2009-2012, EU Framework 7 Science in Society, Brussels - HealthGovMatters: A Social Science and Ethnographic Study of Patient and Professional Involvement in the Governance of Converging Technologies in Medicine
  • 2010, FUND (EU), Brussels - See Play Decide: Common Neurological Conditions
  • 2008-2012, Wellcome Trust, London - With the Public in Mind: Ethnographic Investigations of Medical Science and the Media in Kenya - Phase I
  • 2002-2005, Wellcome Trust, London - Cultures of New Genetics
  • 1996-2000, King’s College and William Wyse Trinity College, Cambridge - The Traffic in Kinship: Assisted Conception for Heterosexual and Lesbian-Gay Couples.