Michael Halpin

Assistant Professor

Email: michael.halpin@dal.ca
Phone: +1 902 494 3403
Mailing Address: 
Room 3130, McCain Building, 6135 University Avenue PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Medical Sociology
  • Mental Health
  • Sociology of Science
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Critical Health Studies


  • BA, University of Calgary
  • MA, University of British Columbia
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin – Madison

I am a sociologist studying medicine, science, and health. My research investigates how the life sciences are changing the definition, treatment, and experience of illness. I am interested in how physicians and scientists are identifying new types and phases of illness, particularly in terms of the consequences for ill individuals and healthcare systems. In my recent work, I address how the life sciences are used to explain social problems, and how emerging science is shaping both health policy and the work of health professionals. In addition to this work, I am developing a project on social isolation. This project focuses on the health and social psychological consequences of isolation, as well as how people become socially isolated.

Selected Publications:

Forthcoming Halpin, M. “The Brain and Causality: How the brain becomes an individual-level cause of illness.” Social Problems.

Forthcoming Preston, K., Halpin, M. & Maguire, F. “The black pill: New technology and the male supremacy of involuntarily celibate men. Men and Masculinities.

Forthcoming Halpin, M. & Richard, N. “An invitation to analytic abduction.” Methods in Psychology.

2021 Halpin, M. “Into the Prodrome: Diagnosis, disadvantage, and biomedical ambiguity.” Society and Mental Health, 11, 38-53.

2020 Cortez, D. & Halpin, M. “Uncertainty and Certain Death: The Role of Clinical Trials in Terminal Cancer Care.” Sociology of Health and Illness, 42, 130-144.