Announcing keynotes for the 2016 #SMSociety!

We are very excited to announce our keynotes for the 2016 #SMSociety! 

Dr Susan Halford - Director, Web Science Institute, University of Southampton

Dr Susan Halford – Director, Web Science Institute, University of Southampton, UK

Dr Helen Kennedy - Professor of Digital Society, University of Sheffield, UK

Dr Helen Kennedy – Professor of Digital Society, University of Sheffield, UK

A Geographer by training and an organizational sociologist for many years, Dr. Susan Halford’s recent research focusses on the politics of digital data and artefacts, with particular attention to questions of method and expertise. Susan is partiularly interested in how computational processes shape the curation of digital data and has recently explored this along two dimensions (1) the impact of computational processes on knowledge – what can be known, by whom and how – and, in turn, the implications for expertise and the future of academic disciplines; and (2) the question of data provenance and applied methods of data analysis, specifically in relation to social media data. Throughout her work Susan is concerned to harness sociological critiques of digital data and infrastructures to develop constructive and progressive engagement between the social and computational sciences. She is also actively involved in current debates around the ethics of big data, particularly social media data and is currently chairing the revision of the ‘digital sociology’ ethics guidelines for the British Sociological Association. Dr. Helen Kennedy has recently been researching what happens when social media data mining becomes widespread – this research will be published as a monograph entitled Post, Mine, Repeat: social media data mining becomes ordinary (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, was funded by an AHRC Fellowship). Current research includes Seeing Data (www.seeingdata.org), which explores how non-experts relate to data visualisations (funded by an AHRC Digital Transformation large grant). Previous research has traversed digital media landscapes, covering topics including: homepages, identity and representation; race, class, gender inequality; learning disability and web accessibility; and web design and other creative digital work. She is currently interested in critical approaches to big data and data visualisation, how to make data more accessible to ordinary citizens, and whether data matter to people.

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