Today I’m giving a working paper exploring a politics of public information that goes beyond a focus on the disclosure of datasets and looks towards interventions into the data infrastructures through which they are produced.
The paper was co-authored with Tim Davies at the University of Southampton and will be delivered at the Open Data Research Symposium as part of the 3rd International Open Government Data Conference in Ottawa. It draws on research undertaken as part of the EU H2020 funded ROUTE-TO-PA project.
The current version of the working paper is available on the symposium website as well as on SSRN. The abstract and slides are included below.
Posted in academia, actor-network theory, advocacy, data, digital, open data, openknowledge, policy, politics, publications, research, sociology, technology
Tagged #IODC2015, Actor-Network Theory, digital transparency, open data, policy, public information, public sector information, research, socio-technical system, transparency
Today Liliana Bounegru and I gave a talk at the International School of Science Journalism in Erice, Italy about the uses of data in science journalism. The slides from our talk are included below.
In addition to the talk we ran a workshop on how to design data projects – which resulted in project briefs looking into drones, vaccination and the public reach of scientists.
Posted in academia, data, datajournalism, datajournalismhandbook, digital, digital methods, open access, open data, science, talks, visualisation
I was invited to give a talk at a conference on the “Politics of Big Data” at King’s College London, which took place yesterday. I spoke about “Digital Transparency and the Politics of Open Data” and gave an overview of several ongoing research projects around these topics. The abstract for the talk was as follows, and the slides are included below.
In recent years the concept of open data has developed from being a niche idea at the margins of software development communities to playing a central role in global information policy. This paper draws on a combination of historical and empirical research to examine open data as a contested political concept that is continually reconfigured in response to shifting ideals, conceptions and practices of governance and democracy in different contexts. This includes work towards a “genealogy of open data”, as well as the findings from several research projects at the Digital Methods Initiative to map the politics of open data as an issue on digital media. It concludes with reflections on open data initiatives as sociotechnical assemblages and on emerging forms of intervention calling not just for the disclosure of information but for more fundamental changes in the composition of information infrastructures that organise collective life.
Posted in academia, actor-network theory, conferences, data, digital methods, digitalhumanities, history, open data, policy, politics, research
An edited version of the following piece appeared in The Guardian on 17th March 2015 with the title “Dutch student protests ignite movement against management of universities”. For other pieces in the Guardian see my contributor profile.
Protesters outside the University of Amsterdam on 25th February 2015.
Photograph: © 2015 Wimer Hazenberg / flickr.com/photos/monokai
I’m pleased to announce a new research project to examine the impact of open budget data, undertaken as a collaboration between Open Knowledge and the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam, supported by the Global Initiative for Financial Transparency (GIFT).
The project will include an empirical mapping of who is active around open budget data around the world, and what the main issues, opportunities and challenges are according to different actors. On the basis of this mapping it will provide a review of the various definitions and conceptions of open budget data, arguments for why it matters, best practises for publication and engagement, as well as applications and outcomes in different countries around the world.
Posted in data, open data, openknowledge, research
Tagged Digital Methods, digital methods initiative, digital transparency, financial transparency, follow the money, open budget data, open budgets, open data, open government, open knowledge, research, transparency, University of Amsterdam
I’m pleased to announce a new research project exploring the tensions between open data, data protection and privacy. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Institute for Information Law (IVIR) and the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI) at the University of Amsterdam. It is funded by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology.
I’m involved in the project as an issue expert on open data (through my work as Director of Policy and Research at Open Knowledge), as well as as an Associate Researcher at the Digital Methods Initiative.
Inspired by a social media post from the historian Richard Drayton comparing fatalities from crossing the Berlin Wall and the US-Mexico border, I decided to have a quick look into the numbers and created this quick chart using Infogram.
Starting with Wikipedia articles on deaths from crossing the Berlin Wall and the US-Mexico border, the data was largely sourced from estimates from the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam (ZZF), the United States Border Patrol, the Mexican Government as well as via this report from the International Organization for Migration in Geneva.
Following is a clip from a live TV interview I recently gave on RT (formerly “Russia Today”) about the gap between public perceptions and the numbers on benefit fraud and social spending in the UK.
Interview on Russia Today about social spending in UK from Jonathan Gray on Vimeo.