I completed a BSc (honours) in Human Geography at Macquarie University and a PhD at the University of Newcastle. Before arriving at UNSW I held post-doctoral positions at the Department of Geography at the Open University and the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. I also held a Research Council’s UK Academic Fellowship at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Department of Geography, Durham University (2007-2011).
My research is situated between the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS), social and cultural geography and contemporary social theory. My research focuses on the social constitution of processes of technological and environmental change. In this context I have documented the constitution of vernacular understandings of, and responses to, technological, scientific and environmental change, and have explored novel means for promoting diverse forms public participation. Deploying qualitative and ethnographic methodologies, my research has explored the societal dimensions of, and public engagement with, climatic change, bio-nanotechnology, geoengineering and contemporary water treatment and supply.
I am a CI in the ARC Centre of Excellence on Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (2014-2021), and a CI on the ARC Discovery Project Designing illicit drug policy solutions: the role of participation (DP200100909, with Prof. Alison Ritter, Dr. Kari Lancaster & Prof. Jason Chilvers). I held an ARC Future Fellowship between 2014-2018. Matthew is also currently a fellow of the PLuS Alliance, and a member of the leadership team of the UNSW Global Water Institute.
I am an associate editor of Science as Culture. I am a member of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), the Science and Democracy Network and the Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network.