Sociology and Sport

With the likes of Lance Armstrong, Maria Sharapova and Simon Yates hitting the headlines, drug doping remains a huge issue in elite sport. As part of this year’s Glasgow Science Festival, we’ve invited experts from a broad range of subjects to take part in a debate: ‘Drugs in Sport: The Trial’. One such expert is sociologist Prof Ellis Cashmore, who stopped for a chat with the blog.


1. Who are you and what do you do?

Ellis Cashmore, visiting professor of sociology at Aston University, England, and author of books Studying Football (Routledge) and Elizabeth Taylor: A Private Life for Public Consumption (Bloomsbury), both published earlier this year.

 2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I’ve been invited to serve as a witness in a debate motioning to legalise the use of drugs in sport.

3. 2016 is Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. What innovation could you not live without?

The screen.

4. It’s Glasgow Science Festival’s 10th birthday! We’ll be celebrating with some science-themed cake and balloons. What’s your birthday treat of choice?

Oh, anything made with oxygen and potassium, OK?

5. And finally: impress us with your favourite science fact or joke.

As Black Power leader Eldridge Cleaver once said: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the … er, precipitate.”

Join Ellis and other expert witnesses on Tuesday 14 June from 19:00-21:30 and serve on the jury as drug doping is put on trial. For more information and booking, click here.

What happens when celebrities die? Are TV talent shows too much of a good thing? Can Beyonce sell the end of racism? Check out Ellis’s blog at for his thoughts on the sociology of contemporary culture.


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