Dr Kriss Fearon

Job: Research Fellow

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Research group(s): Centre for Reproduction Research

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: N/A

E: kriss.fearon@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

Kriss currently holds a Mildred Blaxter Fellowship, generously funded by the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness. She is working on the theme of 'Reproductive futures: social imaginaries and reproductive decision making in the context of chromosome disorders'. This funding is to facilitate dissemination of PhD findings for academic, professional and lay audiences, and develop further projects that contribute to important current debates in medical sociology related to the social impact of new reproductive technologies.

Her PhD research explored the social, psychological, legal and ethical issues attached to reproductive decision-making, parenthood and the use of assisted conception amongst women with Turner Syndrome and mothers of girls with TS. The degree of intervention required, the age at which it needs to be done, the health risks of pregnancy, and the potential use of gametes or ovarian tissue from family members, introduce a significant degree of complexity into the reproductive decision making process for girls and women with TS, their partners and parents. This study used photo elicitation interviews to focus on the way women with TS describe and explain the risks and benefits of different reproductive options. It also looks at the way parents make reproductive choices on behalf of their daughter with TS, and the impact of new technology on those choices.

Kriss has a longstanding interest and experience in assisted conception, initially with egg and sperm donors, and subsequently on the impact of social research into reproductive technology on policy.  She was a trustee of the National Gamete Donation Trust for eight years, bringing her into regular contact with patients, donors, counsellors, clinicians, donor recruitment agency staff, and HFEA and DoH members, gaining a rounded picture of the UK fertility field.

Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs

Books

  • Aidley, D. and Fearon, K., 2021. Doing Accessible Social Research: A Practical Guide. Policy Press.

Journal articles

  • Hanna, E., Martin, G., Campbell, A., Connolly, P., Fearon, K. and Markham, S., 2022. Experiences of face mask use during the Covid-19 pandemic: a qualitative study.

  • Aughey, H.K., Jardine, J., Moitt, N., Fearon, K., Hawdon, J., Pasupathy, D., Urganci, I. and Harris, T., 2020. Waterbirth: a national retrospective cohort study of factors associated with its use in 46,088 women in England.

  • Hanna, E.S., Cheetham, T., Fearon, K., Herbrand, C., Hudson, N., McEleny, K., Quinton, R., Stevenson, E. and Wilkes, S., 2019. The lived experience of Klinefelter syndrome: A narrative review of the literature. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 10, p.825.

  • Fearon, K., 2019. ‘Have you ever talked to any women with Turner syndrome?’ Using universal design and photo elicitation interviews in research with women with mild cognitive impairment. Methodological Innovations, 12(2), p.2059799119841933.

Book chapters

  • Aidley, D., & Fearon, K (2021). Does Empirical Research on Work and Employment Consider the Needs of Disabled Participants? An Empirical Investigation. In Routledge Companion to Organizational Diversity Research Methods by Sine Nørholm Just, Annette Risberg, Florence Villesèche (eds.) Routledge: London. 
  • Jones, C and Fearon, K. [forthcoming] Hormonal Cascades: A Rebellious Glossary, Ch. 7. Estrogen A chapter for a book for Duke University Press Elements series, edited by a team from the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, University of Edinburgh

Guides

  • Aidley, D and Fearon, K. (2022) How to create accessible online survey research. SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online How-To Guides

Blogs and commentaries

  • Fearon. K (2020) Podcast Review: The Immaculate Deception. BioNews, 1048, 26 May 2020 https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_149619

  • Fearon, K. (2018) ‘Have you ever talked to any women with Turner Syndrome?’ Adapting interviews for women with mild cognitive impairment. Blog post on Centre of Reproduction Research Blog. June 2018 

  • Ragdolls UK Blog (2017), TS and Reproductive decisions, 6 June 2017, Turner Syndrome Support Society magazine article, TS and Reproductive decisions, April 2017
  • Fearon. K (2017) Event Review: Launch of the Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University. BioNews, 92, 30 May 2017 http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_845314.asp

  • Fearon. K (2016) Radio Review: Dangerous Visions - Produce. BioNews, 853, 31 May 2016 https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_95540

  • Fearon. K (2016) A victory for consent – but what about the welfare of the child?. BioNews, 859, 11 July 2016 https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_95599

  • MA dissertation (2013): "Fragmented fatherhood: what sperm donors can tell us about the genetic link"

Key research outputs

  • Aidley, D., & Fearon, K (2021). Does Empirical Research on Work and Employment Consider the Needs of Disabled Participants? An Empirical Investigation. In Routledge Companion to Organizational Diversity Research Methods by Sine Nørholm Just, Annette Risberg, Florence Villesèche (eds.) Routledge: London. 
  • Hanna, E.S., Cheetham, T., Fearon, K., Herbrand, C., Hudson, N., McEleny, K., Quinton, R., Stevenson, E. and Wilkes, S., 2019. The lived experience of Klinefelter syndrome: A narrative review of the literature. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 10, p.825.

  • Fearon, K., 2019. ‘Have you ever talked to any women with Turner syndrome?’ Using universal design and photo elicitation interviews in research with women with mild cognitive impairment. Methodological Innovations, 12(2), p.2059799119841933.

Research interests/expertise

  • Sociotechnical imaginaries and their use within intrafamilial, intergenerational relationships and reproductive decision making
  • Reproductive choices for women and girls with Turner’s Syndrome, their parents and partners
  • Egg, ovary and ovarian tissue freezing for medical reasons
  • Mother-to-daughter egg donation
  • Reproductive decision making in the context of chronic illness
  • Perception of risk in pregnancy following fertility treatment
  • Egg and sperm donation

Areas of teaching

  • Egg/sperm donation and gender
  • Accessible research methods

Qualifications

  • PhD Sociology, De Montfort University
  • MA Social Research, University of Leeds
  • MPhil Publishing Studies, University of Stirling
  • BA (Hons) Greek Studies and Philosophy, Keele University

Honours and awards

  • Mildred Blaxter Fellowship, 2022-2023
  • Poster prize winner, RC33 9th International Conference on Social Science
    Methodology
  • PhD Studentship, De Montfort University, 2015-18

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • British Sociological Association
  • European Association for the Study of Science and TechnologySocial Research Association (EASST)
  • Social Research Association
  • Advisory Group member, Egg donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain: an interdisciplinary study (EDNA), 2017-2022
  • Trustee, National Gamete Donation Trust, 2004-2012

Conference attendance

Fearon, K (2022), “‘Have you started?’ Turner syndrome and the timing of puberty”, AFIN Virtual International Conference on Women's Health, Barcelona, 24 October 2022

Fearon, K (2022), “Anticipatory biomedicine” in the “family we live by”: reproductive preservation and Turner Syndrome (TS), BSA Medsoc, Lancaster, 15 September 2022  

Fearon, K (2022), “It’s to level the playing field”: ​family solidarity and intrafamilial egg donation in families affected by Turner Syndrome (TS), Reproductive Futures, Tampere, 16 June 2022  

Svirydzenka, N, Fearon, K and the CHAMPIONS Team (2022), CHAMPIONS: Covid-19, Temporary Accommodation and Children’s Rights to Safety, Health, and Education​, Peace, Equality and Social Justice SDG16, Theme: Building and Consolidating Peaceful and Just Societies, organised by SDG16 team, De Montfort University, Leicester, 20 May 2022 

Fearon, K (2022), Reproductive choice and imaginaries of responsible behaviour,  BSA Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, 19 May 2022  

Fearon, K (2021), Governed by time : the strange temporalities of fertility and reproduction in Turner Syndrome, Chronic Living: Quality, vitality and health in the 21st century, virtual conference organised by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, March 2021  

Fearon, K (2019) “The more options the better”: balancing choice and reproductive risks in women with Turner Syndrome, BSA conference ‘Reproduction and risk’, University of Leicester, 20 November 2019.

Invited attendee at symposium ‘The Ethics and Regulation of Reproductive Donation’, September 2019, which reported on a joint project between KCL and Lancaster University entitled ‘The Donation and Transfer of Human Reproductive Materials’

Fearon, K (2018) “You are not ready to be a mum if you are not listening to a medical professional say it is not safe”: how ‘reproductive responsibility’ affects family-building choices in women with Turner Syndrome’, paper presented to the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)  Annual Conference, Lancaster, 25-28 July 2018.

Fearon, K (2018) ‘Have you ever talked to a woman with Turner Syndrome?’ Photo-elicitation interviews and other adaptions in research with women with mild cognitive impairment’, invited speaker at conference ‘Creating diverse coalitions for equality in neoliberal times: locating the emancipatory city’, DMU, 4 July 2018.

Fearon, K (2018) ‘Have you ever talked to a woman with Turner Syndrome?’ A rationale for the use of photo-elicitation interviews in research on reproductive decision making with women with mild cognitive impairment’. ‘Visualising Reproduction’ Conference, DMU, 4 June 2018.

Fearon, K (2017) 'Using photo elicitation as an accommodation in research with women with Turner Syndrome', poster presented to the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology Annual Conference, York, 12-13 September 2017.

Fearon, K (2017) ‘Turner Syndrome and reproductive decision making’, presentation given to the Turner Syndrome Support Society Annual Conference, 7 October 2017.

Radio Fox (Leicester Hospitals Radio), Interview with Jean Carroll on her show The Library Hour, 24 September 2017

'Using photo elicitation as an accommodation in research with women with Turner Syndrome', poster presentation at the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology Annual Conference, York, 12-13 September 2017.

Externally funded research grants information

  • Mildred Blaxter Fellowship, Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness, 2022-2023. Full time funding for a year to disseminate PhD research findings and develop a new funding bid on reproductive choices, futurity and chromosome disorders.
  • Parkes Foundation Small Grant, £800, June 2017, to support fieldwork for PhD ‘Reproductive decision-making amongst women with Turner Syndrome’

Academic Visits

Invited visitor to the Centre for Childhood Research at the University of Warsaw, March 2019; presented research to date to researchers and gave a talk (jointly with Tracey Connolly, the Chair of Ragdolls UK, who presented via online video call) to Polish families affected by TS.

Visiting student for one week at PEALS, University of Newcastle. Presented: ‘“At least it would have my genes”: how views on kinship affect attitudes to maternal egg freezing in women with Turner Syndrome (TS)’

Event Organisation

Panel co-organiser, Procreative Interruptions panel, Chronic Living: Quality, vitality and health in the 21st century, an international virtual conference organised by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 4th - 6th of March 2021 

Co-organiser, ECR conference Creating diverse coalitions for equality in neoliberal times: the emancipatory city, July 2018, jointly funded by the BSA and the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity, DMU. 

Co-organiser, BSA-funded Postgraduate Conference Public sociology and the role of the researcher: engagement, communication and academic activism, March 2017.

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