Panel on Data Infrastructures and their Publics at “Evidence and the Politics of Policymaking” Conference, University of Bath, 14th September 2016

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As part of my new role as Prize Fellow at the University of Bath, I’m organising a panel on data infrastructures and their publics at a conference on “Evidence and the Politics of Policymaking” this coming Wednesday 14th September 2016.

The panel will feature new research and reflections on this topic from:

  • Liliana Bounegru (University of Groningen + University of Ghent), who will be talking about her research on data work and data infrastructures in journalism (including examples from the Changing What Counts report and her work mapping journalism code ecologies on GitHub);
  • Tommaso Venturini (King’s College London), who will be talking about sprinting with data as means to engage different publics around data infrastructures – including the fantastic Climaps project, his work with Bruno Latour and a preview of some material from his forthcoming book on controversy mapping;
  • Sabine Niederer (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), who will be talking about “reclaiming data” with the Citizen Data Lab – including through participatory design sessions, visualisation initiatives and digital methods for mapping cities.

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Prize Fellowship at University of Bath

university_of_bath_logo-svg

This month I’ll be starting a new Prize Fellowship at the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath. The Prize Fellowships mark fifty years since the founding of the university in 1966.

This is a fantastic opportunity for me to develop the research agenda that I’ve been working on around the politics of data – including at the University of Amsterdam and the médialab at Sciences Po earlier this year. This includes a book project on Data Worlds; several associated papers and research projects; and a new initiative engaging researchers, civil society groups and public institutions around public data infrastructures.

I’ll continue to be involved with policy and research activities at Open Knowledge International (albeit in more of an advisory capacity), and will continue to be active around many of the topics that I have worked on over the past decade – from civil society data and democratic engagement around data infrastructures, to tax justice and the transparency of clinical trials. I’ll also remain involved as a Research Associate with both the Digital Methods Initiative and the DATACTIVE project.

If you’d like to hear more about these research plans, or if you’re potentially interested in collaborating, please do get in touch.

50th Anniversary Prize Fellowships from University of Bath on Vimeo.

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Talk: “Data Infrastructure Literacy”, 4S/EASST, Barcelona

DataPublics

Today I’ll be giving a talk at at 4S/EASST in Barcelona about ongoing research on “data infrastructure literacy” by Liliana Bounegru, Carolin Gerlitz and myself. The abstract is copied below.

This is part of a track on “New Collective Practices of Measurement, Monitoring and Evidence” organised by Evelyn Ruppert, Daniel Neyland and Jennifer Gabrys at Goldsmiths, University of London.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our work or collaborating in this area, please do get in touch.

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Joining Advisory Board of LSE Impact Blog at London School of Economics and Political Science

The Impact Blog

I’ve recently been invited to join the Advisory Board for the LSE Impact Blog, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The blog is one of the leading publications exploring how social science research is put to work in society.

Further details about the new Advisory Board are available here, and you can follow the blog on Twitter here.

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New Paper: “Narrating Networks: Exploring the Affordances of Networks as Storytelling Devices in Journalism”

A journal article which I co-authored with Liliana Bounegru, Tommaso Venturini and Mathieu Jacomy has just been published in Digital Journalism.

The title is “Narrating Networks: Exploring the Affordances of Networks as Storytelling Devices in Journalism”, and the abstract is copied below.

An open access pre-print of the paper is available here, and a list of the projects that were compiled during the course of the research is available here.

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New Paper: “Open Data, Privacy and Fair Information Principles: Towards a Balancing Framework”

A journal article which I co-authored with Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius and Mireille van Eechoud – both at the Institute for Information Law (IVIR) at the University of Amsterdam – has just been published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (BTLJ).

The title is “Open Data, Privacy and Fair Information Principles: Towards a Balancing Framework”, and the abstract is copied below. The full paper can be downloaded here (PDF).

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New Paper: “Opening the Black Box of Scholarly Communication Funding: A Public Data Infrastructure for Financial Flows in Academic Publishing”

A journal article on scholarly communication finances which I co-authored with Stuart Lawson and Michele Mauri is now online at the Open Library of Humanities. It is titled “Opening the Black Box of Scholarly Communication Funding: A Public Data Infrastructure for Financial Flows in Academic Publishing” and the abstract is copied below.

While in this paper we have mainly focused on scholarly communication finances in the UK, we would like to continue to develop this research agenda in other countries. If you’re interested in collaborating, please do get in touch.

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New Paper: “OpenTrials: Towards a Collaborative Open Database of All Available Information on All Clinical Trials”

A few years ago, I had some discussions with the physician, academic and science writer Ben Goldacre which led to a collaboration on a new project called OpenTrials.

Clinical trials are conducted in order to generate information about the safety and effectiveness of a given medical treatment. This information is used to take decisions which can transform people’s lives. However research suggests that negative results are often withheld, and outcomes are often only selectively reported. OpenTrials aspires to address this by providing a collaborative database of public information about clinical trials, collated from a wide variety of different sources for and by patients, doctors, researchers, civil society groups, public institutions and others.

Ben and I have co-authored a paper which outlines what we hope to do with the OpenTrials project, which has just come out in the open access Trials journal published by BioMed Central. The abstract for the paper is copied below.

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New Report: “Changing What Counts: How Can Citizen-Generated and Civil Society Data Be Used as an Advocacy Tool to Change Official Data Collection?”

Changing What Counts

A new report that I co-authored for Open Knowledge and the CIVICUS DataShift initiative has just been released today, following on from a discussion paper I wrote on “Democratising the Data Revolution”.

It is titled “Changing What Counts: How Can Citizen-Generated and Civil Society Data Be Used as an Advocacy Tool to Change Official Data Collection?”, and contains seven case studies accompanied by a series of recommendations for civil society groups, public institutions and policy-makers. The case studies cover data collection initiatives around a wide variety of different topics – from literacy rates in East Africa to water access in Malawi, migration deaths in Europe to fracking pollution in the US. It was researched and written by myself, Danny Lämmerhirt and Liliana Bounegru.

We hope that it will contribute to advancing policies and practices to make public information systems more responsive to the interests and concerns of civil society. The full report can be downloaded here.

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Visiting Researcher at Sciences Po

For the next few months I’ll be a Visiting Researcher at Sciences Po in Paris, collaborating on several research initiatives with the médialab led by Professor Bruno Latour and the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA).

This will include mapping controversies around the taxation of multinational companies, as well as developing research on data infrastructures and the politics of public information.

medialab website

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