graphic map of the city of Glasgow

Our research

We use change as a lens through which we examine the dynamic connections between contemporary digital and social worlds.

Our holistic approach reveals inequalities in adaptation and resistance to social and digital change.

Research themes

Knowledge and voice: media, science, and culture

The development and use of autonomous and intelligent systems in all forms of knowledge production raises questions about what types of learning individuals, networks, communities, and societies need to do in the context of algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

This involves questions about how people can access the processes of knowledge production in media, science, and cultural domains and how transparent knowledge production is.

These issues materialise in:

  • Digital journalism and news
  • The digital past (memory, archives, heritage)
  • Open science: cohesive or polarized society?
  • Hacker arts and culture

Power, inequality, and justice

The datafication of society is the process through which digital recording and sharing technologies come to mimic mundane existence itself, as they are routine, pervasive, continuous and often unnoticed.

With individuals reduced to a series of datapoints - an item of information about you and where you are and what you’re doing – the digital self becomes accountable, misrepresented, and consequential in new ways.

These issues materialise in:

  • Digital divides and digital capital
  • Digital rights: privacy and transparency
  • Digital justice: access, rights, and accountability
  • Power: corporations, governments, criminals, and accountability

Conflict, security, and governance

The properties, biases, uses, and applications of digital technologies are transforming the nature and the experience of conflict and warfare, including facilitating new forms of interpersonal abuse and hate crimes.

At the same time, new ‘architectures of participation’ redefine what war and conflict mean, shaping new potential asymmetries of war, yet also reinvigorating military and governmental as well as opposition and fringe group power, through offering new channels for disinformation and covert operations.

We would like to find out more about how to talk about governance in this context and what a new language of governance might be.

These issues materialise in:

  • Vulnerabilities
  • New securities and insecurities
  • Trust and risk
  • New forms of war and conflict

Digital economy and the environment

The development and diffusion of robotics and autonomous systems into many areas of work is interacting with changes in work practices and the experiences of balances in work and life.

The effects of the digital economy’s shift into a potential fourth industrial period are uneven in terms of both increasing wealth creation and in widening inequality. 

These changes raise questions about what we mean by work, the status of work and workers, and the ways in which work is located in the environment. Changes in production interact with changes in consumption and both have environmental consequences.

These issues materialise in:

  • Digital mobilities
  • Work in the era of robotics and autonomous systems
  • Consumers, living labs, and rapid innovation
  • Digital environmentalism