Science, Society and Governance


The Science, Society and Governance cluster in SSS brings together researchers interested in science and technology development, brain function, cognition, individual and/or social behaviors, society, and/or policy. It is a combination of the previous Cognition and Neuroscience Cluster and Science, Technology and Society Cluster. It hopes to generate research findings that can help boost societal welfare, wellbeing and technology advancement.

Cluster Coordinator

Xu Hong

Dr. Hong XU is currently an assistant professor of Psychology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2009. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Peking University, Master and Ph.D degrees in Statistics and Psychology from University of Chicago respectively. Her research interests include visual perception in human and non-human primates; human-computer interaction and computational modeling the neural network from vision to decision and action.​

Sabrina Luk Ching Yuen

Dr. Luk's research interests lie broadly in aging and healthcare reforms, e-government and governance in Asia, smart cities and cyber security, public administration, public policy analysis, and China studies. She was a recipient of the 2012 Michael O'Rourke PhD Publication Award at the University of Birmingham for her research contributions and publication record. She was also the Highly Commended Award Winner of the 2013 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Healthcare Management Category.​

Cluster Members

​Alice Chan Hiu Dan​ ​Alice is interested in looking at the underlying cognitive and neuroanatomical mechanisms as well as the genetic bases of these culturally sensitive perceptual patterns and behaviors. Her current work also looks at possible neurophysiological realizations that would support the Whorfian hypothesis, with a specific interest in Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, as well as bilingual and multilingual communities.
Annabel Chen Shen-Hsing
Annabel is currently investigating the neural substrates involved in healthy aging and higher cognition in the cerebellum. The goal of her research is to apply these paradigms to study the cerebro-cerebellar circuitry in clinical populations, to further understand the processes of neurodevelopmental (e.g. schizophrenia, dyslexia, autism) and neurodegenerative (e.g. dementia, healthy aging) conditions to inform and develop evidence-based interventions. 
​Bobby Cheon​ ​Bobby’s research investigates how people conceptualize and navigate relations with fellow group members (in-groups) and people belonging to other groups (out-groups) in response to environmental pressures and demands. Towards this objective, he investigates how perceived threats from the environment influence and interact with neurobiological mechanisms to shape intragroup processes (e.g., empathy, cooperation, affiliation), intergroup processes (e.g., prejudice, in-group favoritism, discrimination), as well as cultural diversity in these group processes. He is also applying his research on culture, social experience, and group processes to study the social modulation of eating behaviors, appetite, and nutritional health.​
Charle​s Or

Charles's research focuses on visual perception of faces, motion, and form, using electrophysiology, psychophysics, and computational modelling as tools. Currently, he is investigating how face detection and face identification can be accomplished rapidly under various circumstances, such as varying viewing angles and the presence of colour, using a novel and objective paradigm of fast periodic visual stimulation during recording of high-density scalp electroencephalograms (EEG). He is also interested in studying cultural variations in visual perception.

Chou Meng-Hsuan​​ ​Hsuan's research interests lie at the intersection of public policy, regionalism, and international relations. Hsuan is currently researching how governments in Asia, Europe, and North America compete for talent in a globalised world, how scholarly networks are organised across time, and the emergence and evolution of higher education regionalisms.​
Christina Chua​ng

Christina’s  main interest is in the nature of moral judgments and the practicality of ethical theories. In particular, I am interested in developing a more holistic account of the nature of moral judgment that is based in both philosophy and psychology. 

​Christopher Cummings​​ ​Christopher is investigating how experts and members of the public come to make sense of uncertain and complex risk and health issues while unpacking how different forms of communication play critical roles in influencing decision-making processes.​
Francis C.K. Wong His current research focuses on studying, using techniques from brain imaging and artificial language learning paradigms, how speech processing is supported by a network of brain areas. 
​Gianluca Esposito​ Developmental Clinical Psychologist qualified to advance the ongoing investigations on child psychopathology contributing strengths in human electrophysiology and neuroimaging, complex data modeling, and comparative physiological assessment with the aim of studying typical and atypical development. His specific focus is on the comparative physiology across mammalian species of mother-offspring interactions and their implication on psychopathology. 
​Gerrit Maus His lab focuses on studies of visual perception and its underlying neural

mechanisms, investigating how the brain is able to predict and fill in missing


​Ho Moon-Ho Ringo ​His current research focuses on Quantitative Psychology, Neuroinformatics,

Applied Statistics.

Kenichi Ito​ ​Dr. Ito investigates the relationship between culture and the mind. On the one hand, members of a given culture acquire culturally-specific knowledge form their environment. On the other hand, they also recreate the environment from which new members of the culture acquire the knowledge. To investigate such two-way street, Dr. Ito investigates the distinct perceptual and cognitive patterns across different cultural groups and how these patterns are reflected in their environments.
​Michael David Gumert​ ​Michael Gumert is a primatologist and his research focuses on the behavior

and biology of non-human primates. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked as

a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience at Hiram College, USA. Dr. Gumert

holds memberships in several societies, including the Animal Behaviour

Society, American Society of Primatologists, International Society of

Primatologists, and the Primate Society of Japan.

​Luca Onnis ​​Luca Onnis's research interest includes Statistical learning, Cognitive

Science, Computational modeling, Language acquisition, Language

evolution and Brain plasticity.

Randy John LaPolla

My work on the intersection of Sino-Tibetan historical linguistics, pragmatics,

and linguistic typology has led me to an understanding of communication that

is based only on ostension (showing the desire to communicate) and

einferential ability is argued to be a natural survival instinct, used to

understand the natural word, and also applied to understanding the

motivations of other humans when they perform any action. Communication

is the application of this ability to situations where another person does

something with the intention of having another person infer the motivations

for the action. Language is an emergent phenomenon, created in the

process of trying to constrain the addressee’s inferential process. It is not a

“thing”, but our memory of our experiences of our own and other people’s

use of linguistic forms to constrain the interpretation. It becomes habit at the

personal level and convention at the societal level, so is not governed by

logical rules but by conventions in the same way as our conventions of

dress, eating, architecture, etc. This view entails that each language is

unique, and necessarily reflects the cultural and cognitive categories (world

view) of the speakers. I would like to develop a large multidisciplinary project

to test this view of communicative behavior.

​Ng Yew Kwang ​Borned in 1942 in Malaysia, Yew-Kwang Ng obtained his BCom from Nanyang University in 1966 BS his PhD from Sydney University in 1971. He was a professor of economics at Monash University 1985-1012 (and an emeritus professor since early 2013) and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia since 1980. In 2007, he received the highest award (Distinguished Fellow) of the Economic Society of Australia. He just joined NTU as Winsemius professor in economics. He has worked in welfare economics, proposed mesoeconomics (a simplified general equilibrium analysis with both micro and macro elements) and welfare biology.​
​Ian Rowen ​​Ian Rowen is Assistant Professor of Geography at Nanyang Technological University and Associate Researcher at the French Center for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC). He has been a postdoctoral fellow at Academia Sinica Institute of Ethnology (2016-2017), a Fulbright Scholar (2013-2014) and US National Science Foundation EAPSI and IGERT Fellow (2011-2012), and a visiting scholar at Fudan University and the University of Tübingen.​
​Setoh Pei Pei ​She is interested in how infants and toddlers make sense of the world around them, and what explanatory frameworks and learning mechanisms enable them to do so. Her research explores early conceptual development in three domains: biological, psychological, and sociomoral. Currently she is focusing on infants and toddler’s expectations about interactions within and between groups.

​Sulfikar Amir​ ​Sulfikar Amir is an Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and a faculty member of Sociology Programme at the School of Social Sciences NTU. His research interests primarily focus on examining institutional, political, and epistemological dimensions of scientific knowledge and technological structures. He has conducted research on technological nationalism, development and globalisation, nuclear politics, risk and disaster governance, and city and infrastructure studies. 
​Sun Hsiao-Li Shirley​ ​Dr. Shirley Sun studies family, population, and genomic science and medicine in global contexts through the concepts of citizenship and "othering". She has special research interests in science, technology and society. Her latest publication is entitled “Socio-economics of personalised medicine in Asia” (2017, Routledge), where she draws on interviews with practicing physicians and medical research scientists in Asia about genome-based precision medicine.
​Suzy Styles ​Suzy Styles investigate how we develop systems of meaning which connect up words like “cat” and “dog” in a way that influences moment-to-moment language comprehension. She also investigate the interface between the sounds of words and their meanings, looking at how viewing a picture can trigger in the mind the idea of its name, and whether some pictures 'look more like' what they are called than others. She is also interested in how each person’s individual’s language experience contributes to their processing of natural language, with an interest in how different writing systems, and different sound systems shape perception and the underlying representation of language.

​​Yohanes Eko Riyanto ​His current research is in the areas of Experimental and Behavioral Economics, and Applied Microeconomics. He is currently working on various topics investigating the economics of charitable giving using laboratory controlled and field experiments, social preferences, mechanisms to enhance cooperation and coordination in social dilemma settings, experimental asset markets, and many others. ​