Group members

The Digital Futures Research Group draws together expertise from across the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, and engages widely with a broader range of expertise from across the University of Bristol.

Group leads

Prof Susan Halford, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Research interests: sociotechnical approaches to digital data and infrastructures; civic applications for digital data and methods e.g. AI for social good; speculative sociology.
 
Prof Richard Owen, School of Management
Research interests: analysing and engaging with techno-visionary futures, public participation, responsible innovation & innovation governance; Science and Technology Studies.

Group members

Dr Ed Atkins, School of Geographical Sciences
Research interests: the energy demands of cryptocurrencies and wider digital technologies, and how such demands interact with local communities and policy regimes.
 
Dr Roberta Bernardi, School of Management
Research interests: digital technologies in healthcare – identities, sociomateriality and the role of epistemologies in patient care.
 
Prof William Brown, School of Education
Research interests: statistical methodology and software development, applied to substantive problems in education, crime, ecology, animal behaviour and epidemiology; automating statistical teaching and analysis.
 
Prof Andrew Charlesworth, University of Bristol Law School
Research interests: data analytics and privacy, participatory research, data ethics; data protection, intellectual property, internet law and e-commerce law.
 
Prof Michelle Cini, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Research interests: European Union governance and institutions; public ethics and integrity; competition/state aid regulation and the EU’s digital single market agenda.
 
Prof Sharon Collard, School of Geographical Sciences
Research interests: understanding how how technology and innovation can help address 'wicked problems' in personal finance such as financial exclusion, problem debt, and the unfair treatment of customers in vulnerable situations.
 
Prof Esther Dermott, School for Policy Studies
Research interests: digital methodologies for researching time and co-presence in the ‘private sphere’; digital potentials for reconfiguration of intimacy and family practices.
 
Dr John Downer, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Research interests: the governmentality of safety-critical technologies and infrastructures. I explore the processes and logics through which states manage the potential dangers of complex systems; highlighting their hidden assumptions and implicit politics.
 
Dr Maria Fannin, School of Geographical Sciences
Research interests: feminist theoretical approaches to health and new medical technologies.
 
Prof Keri Facer, School of Education
Research interests: socio-technical change and new approaches to education and learning; democratising futures narratives; Anticipation Studies; Futures Studies.
 
Dr Lyndsay Grant, School of Education
Research interests: critical approaches to data, algorithms and artificial intelligence in education, political economy of educational technology, digital and participatory cultures, digital literacies, posthuman and sociomaterial theoretical research methods.
 
Prof Sarah Green, University of Bristol Law School
Research interests: the legal implications of distributed ledger technology, virtual currencies and intangible property, including negligence, property, contractual and criminal issues. 
 
Dr Jo Haynes, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Research interests: sociological approaches to the digital production and consumption of music.
 
Natalie Jester, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies 
Research interests: international security, states, gender, militaries, weapons and digital media (especially social media).
 
Dr Ed King, School of Modern Languages
Research interests: book cultures in digital media ecologies; digital social inclusion, with a particular focus on Latin America; critical posthumanism and science fiction.
 
Dr Genevieve Liveley, School of Humanities
Research interests: narratives and narrative theories (both ancient and modern), chaos theory, cyborgs, AI; how ancient myth might help us to better anticipate the future.  
 
Dr Helen Manchester, School of Education
Research interests: materialist and STS approaches to urban futures, digital cultures and learning; design sociology; co-design of creative digital technologies for digital social inclusion.
 
Prof Alex Marsh, School for Policy Studies
Research interests: digital technologies, cities, housing organisations and housing markets; specifically citizen orientated smart innovation in Mexico; the role of digital technology landlord/tenant relations; changing data availability/use and organisational governance.
 
Dr Jacopo Martire, University of Bristol Law School
Research interests: the legal, political and social implications of connected and automated driving.
 
Prof David Miller, School for Policy Studies
Research interests: corporate and state power, conflict/terrorism, racism and corporate influences on health and science; using traditional and newer digital methods for generating and analysing data (including data scraping, semantic techniques and social network analysis).
 
Dr Sveta Milyaeva, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Research interests: the data economy, the monetisation of and markets for online personal data, algorithmic methods, privacy, trust, surveillance; GDPR.
 
Alison Oldfield, School of Education
Research interests: innovative technologies in classrooms e.g. re-shaping assessment, practices of co-designing digital technologies with children; participatory, creative and socio-material methodologies. 
 
Prof Martin Parker, School of Management
Research interests: AI for future society; speculative social theory; organizations and utopia; science fiction imaginaries; philosophy of mind and computational aspects of AI.
 
Dr Harry Pitts, School of Management
Research interests: futures of work and economic life; alternative forms of organization; freelance work, self-employment; cultural and creative industries; policy responses to automation/the end of work.
 
Dr Jie Sheng, School of Management
Research interests: big data analytics; data-driven strategies; online social interactions and networks; firm engagement with digital technologies and platforms. 
 
Helen Smith, Bristol Medical School
Research interests: the ethical and legal challenges of using artificial intelligence to inform clinical decision making. 
 
Prof Palie Smart, School of Management
Research interests: digital innovation in products and services; ethical/moral/philosophical implications of new forms of digital data; digital data analytics/sense-making; digital inclusion.
 
Dr Leonidas Tsilipakos, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Research interests: use of digital technologies to address theoretical and methodological problems; mapping of conceptual relations; uses of visualisation.
 
Dr Elspeth van Veeran, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Research interests: the political cultures of technology, including and especially technologies often associated with security, surveillance and secrecy, as well as as an interest in the role of digital technology in relation to knowledge making and unmaking.
 
Dr Liz Washbrook, School of Education
Research interests: use of machine learning methods to improve targeting of early interventions; translation of machine learning findings into tools that can be used appropriately by practitioners.
 
Prof Debbie Watson, School for Policy Studies
Research interests: exploring narrative identities of children and young people  living in adverse experiences. I have co-designed a phygital memory tool that enables care experienced children to narrate their care journeys and am keen to explore the use of VR and other immersive technologies in enabling stories of everyday lives to be told by participants in embodied ways.
 
Prof Graeme Were, School of Arts
Research interests: material culture, museums, and heritage. His research has examined the development and impact of digital heritage technologies, particularly around exploring ways in which digital technologies are transforming traditional knowledge systems in the Pacific
 
Dr Juan Zhang, School of Arts
Research interests: ethnography on the future of work, Uber, gig work, flexible labour, migration and mobilities, gender class and technology.
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