Taylor Spears Headshot

Lecturer in Financial Technology and Organisations


  • PhD in Sociology, University of Edinburgh (2014)
  • MSc in Public Policies for Science, Technology, and Innovation, University of Sussex (2009)
  • BS in Economics (major concentration) and Mathematics (minor concentration), Arizona State University (2008)

Research Interests

Please see my Google Scholar profile for a list of my publications.

Taylor Spears is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh Business School and the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and Programme Director for Edinburgh’s MSc programme in Finance, Technology, and Policy.

Trained as a sociologist, Taylor’s research examines how the development of new technologies and calculative practices contribute to the transformation of market and organizational fields within finance. He is especially interested in understanding how clusters of financial modelling practices – i.e. modelling cultures – emerge and are reproduced within banks and other financial organizations, and how these cultures both enable and constrain these organizations’ capacity to manage risk.

Taylor’s current work focuses on the role that developments in modelling practices have played in facilitating the historical development and transformation of the epistemic community of derivatives ‘quants’: the community of physicists and engineers responsible for building and maintaining models that are used within large ‘dealer’ banks to price and hedge derivatives that are traded on an over-the-counter basis. His latest project examines how ‘modelling entrepreneurs’ with a background in machine learning are contributing to the transformation of the modelling culture practised within the derivatives markets, and the impact of these methods on how financial risk is measured and managed.

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Research Area