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Dr Rich Gorman

Photo of Rich Gorman carrying out research

Dr Rich Gorman (BSc, PhD, FRGS)

Research Fellow B
Location: Medical Teaching Building, BSMS, University of Sussex, BN1 9PX

Areas of expertise: Health geography; bioethics; medical humanities; human-animal relations

Research areas: Ethical preparedness; patient involvement; cultures of care; animal-assisted-therapies; the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, refinement) of animal research

Other relevant positions: Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter


Rich completed his PhD in human geography at Cardiff University in 2017, investigating the social and ethical implications of incorporating animals within various caring and health-promoting practices. Following this, Rich moved to the University of Exeter, as a postdoctoral research fellow on the Wellcome Trust Animal Research Nexus project. This work involved exploring practices of patient involvement around animal research, particularly working with patients and carers to explore their lived experiences of health and illness, and what it means to be ‘involved’ in research that they may find ethically challenging. 

Rich is the chair of the RGS-IBG Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Group, and a board member of the Disability Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.


Broadly, Rich’s research is interested in the social and ethical implications of different healthcare practices, and aims to be responsive to stakeholder interests, engage different publics, and contribute to addressing complex policy issues. More specifically, Rich’s work is concerned with how, and for whom, matters of care come to be enacted; how different knowledges interact; and, how different interests are spoken for. Previously, this has involved investigating the potential of animal-therapies for individuals affected by traumatic bereavement, as well as more recently, exploring the ethics involved in using horseshoe crab blood as part of pharmaceutical endotoxin testing practices. 

Rich’s current research is focused on ethical preparedness in genomic medicine, and particularly, the idea that any bid to promote or improve ethical preparedness will benefit from health professionals having access to a detailed understanding of what it means to be part of a genomic project from a patient perspective and how those people live their everyday lives outside the health care setting. 

Selected publications

Gorman, R. (2020). Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs and Endotoxin Testing: Perspectives on Alternatives, Sustainable Methods, & the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement). Frontiers in Marine Science. 

Gorman, R. & Davies, G. (2020) When ‘cultures of care’ meet: entanglements and accountabilities at the intersection of animal research and patient involvement in the UK. Social and Cultural Geography

Cacciatore, J. Gorman, R. & Thieleman, K. (2020) Evaluating care farming as a means to care for those in trauma and grief using the Traumatic Grief Index. Health and Place 62 1022812

Gorman, R. (2020) Care farming, therapeutic landscapes, and rurality in the UK. in Mental Health and Wellbeing in Rural Regions: International Perspectives. Munoz, S. & Bain, S. (eds). Routledge.

Davies, G., Gorman, R., Greenhough, B., Hobson-West, P., Kirk, R.G.W., Message, R., Myelnikov, D., Palmer, A., Roe, E., Ashall, V., Crudgington, B., McGlacken, R., Peres, S., & Skidmore, T. (2020) The Animal Research Nexus: A new approach to the connections between science, health, and animal welfare. BMJ Medical Humanities

Davies, G. Gorman, R. & Crudgington, B. 2020. Which patient takes centre stage? Placing patient voices in animal research. Chapter 10 in, Geohumanities and Health. Atkinson, S. & Hunt, R. (eds). Springer. 

Gorman, R. 2019. What’s in it for the animals? Symbiotically considering ‘therapeutic’ human-animal relations within spaces & practices of care farming. BMJ Medical Humanities 45, pp. 313–325.

Gorman, R. 2017. Thinking critically about health and human-animal relations: Therapeutic affect within spaces of care farming. Social Science and Medicine. 231 pp.6-12 

Gorman, R. & Cacciatore, J. 2017. Cultivating our humanity: a systematic review of care farming & traumatic grief. Health and Place. 47 pp. 12-21.

Gorman, R. 2017. Therapeutic landscapes and non-human animals: the roles and contested positions of animals within care farming assemblages. Social & Cultural Geography 18(3) pp. 315-335.

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