Talk on “How is Data Made? From Dataset Literacy to Data Infrastructure Literacy”, Web Science 2015, University of Oxford

Today I gave a talk titled “How is Data Made? From Dataset Literacy to Data Infrastructure Literacy” as part of the Data Literacy Workshop at ACM Web Science 2015 hosted at the University of Oxford.

Drawing on a comparison between data and photography that I made in an article for the Guardian several years ago, the talk focused on the development of critical literacies for data. In particular it argued for going beyond literacies with datasets, towards literacies around data infrastructures as socio-technical systems – including looking at questions of what is measured and how.

The talk drew on recent work that I have been doing to rethink “the politics of public information”. It highlighted examples of democratic interventions by civil society groups and journalists to reshape data infrastructures – including the case of advocacy around company ownership which was documented in a working paper which I have co-authored with Tim Davies. The slides are included below.

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