Critical Data Studies

Work in the field of Critical Data Studies uses critical social theory to examine the social drivers, implications and power relations of emergent forms of data and algorithmic practices.

Recent work in this area includes:

Dr Jo Bates research on

  • Socio-material dynamics of data movements - ‘Data Journeys’ and ‘Data Friction’ - developed in part on the AHRC funded project ‘The Secret Life of a Weather Datum’, in collaboration with Dr Yuwei Lin.
  • Affective dynamics in cultures of Data Science practice with Jess Elmore (former PhD student in Libraries and Information Society group) and ongoing work with Dr Dave Cameron (Information Retrieval group)
  • Socio-cultural biases and transparency in image search results conducted in collaboration with Prof. Paul Clough and Dr Frank Hopfgartner in the Information Retrieval group and Prof. Jahna Otterbacher at the Open University of Cyprus (CYCAT project - Horizon 2020)
  • Socio-technical approaches for improving crowdworkers’ labour conditions in ongoing research with Alessandro Checco in the Information Retrieval group and former Information School MA student Elli Gerakopoulou.

Jo is also a co-founder (with Prof Helen Kennedy and Dr Ysabel Gerrard in Sociological Studies) and on the organising committee of Data Power conference, and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Big Data and Society journal.

Itzelle Medina Perea’s PhD research exploring Data Journeys in the UK’s National Health Service.

Jo is also supervising Ruth Beresford’s PhD project on algorithmic bias in the development of predictive analytics systems in collaboration with Prof. Helen Kennedy (Sociological Studies) and the Department for Work and Pensions.