Des Fitzgerald

Des Fitzgerald


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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a sociologist of neuroscience, psychiatry and mental health. At KCL, I am Co-Investigator (with Nikolas Rose, PI, and Ilina Singh) on an ESRC-funded project about the links links between urban life, neurobiology, and mental illness. In this project, we're working to produce a comprehensive, transdisciplinary understanding account of the relations between urbanicity, psychiatric diagnosis and the brain, by joining sociological, neuroscientific, and psychiatric expertises, through a series of workshops, historical re-imaginings, and conceptual arguments. At the same time, we want to use the history - now somewhat faded - of sociological interest in this question, to re-think, and to re-vitalise, the links between the sociological and psychiatric sciences, and also to re-imagine the crossings between sociological and biological knowledges more generally.

I also have longstanding sociological interests in the neuroscience of autism (the topic of my Phd), and in the kinds of conceptual, practical and affective labour involved in understanding and conceptualsing a neurodevelopmental disorder. Throughout these interests, I am involved in a number of project on interdisciplinarity, where I am part of a group of scholars to understand, beyond the traditional encouragements, what is truly involved in occupying an intellectual and affective space across different disciplines.      

Research interests (short)

I am a sociologist of neuroscience, with active research interests in mental health, urbanicity, psychiatry, autism and emotion. At the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, I am Co-Investigator on an ESRC-funded project on the links between urban life, neurobiology, and mental illness. I also have a longstanding interest in interdisciplinarity - both in making the space for creative interdisciplinary work, but also in re-thinking the intellectual and institutional fabric of 'interdisciplinarity' as such. 

Biographical details

I received my PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2013. Before joining the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, I was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University, and a Teaching Fellow at the London School of Economics.  


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Tracing autism: ambiguity and difference in a neuroscientific research practice., LSE London School of Economics & Political Science

Award Date: 1 Jan 2013

Master of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 2007

Bachelor of Arts, University College Cork

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002


  • HM Sociology
  • Neuroscience
  • urbanicity
  • mental health
  • autism
  • affect
  • interdisciplinarity


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