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Data Power Conference 2015

About us

The Data Power Conference is hosted by:

Both of these are in The Faculty of Social Sciences at The University of Sheffield.

The Department of Sociological Studies has an international reputation for world-leading interdisciplinary research in relation to a range of social issues, including Science, Technology and Society and Digital Worlds. Our research has a direct impact on people, organisations and policy making. The Department has been awarded the highest ranking ('excellent') in all of its main disciplines in the latest HEFCE Teaching Quality Assessments. As part of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 79% of the Department's research was judged to be 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. This ranks the Department in the top 10 amongst the Russell Group for research output, and the top 15 in the discipline for world-leading/internationally excellent research. We are committed to the view that excellent research and excellent teaching support one another. This means that our teaching staff are all actively engaged in research and that our teaching is informed by the latest developments and debates in social research.

The Digital Society Network (DSN) draws together an interdisciplinary team of researchers engaged with research at the cutting-edge of society-technology interactions. Underpinning the network is a concern with how societies and individuals use digital technologies and with the social implications and outcomes of an increasingly digitised world on numerous scales. In this way, digital society is understood as being the social aspect of the digital - a concern with who does and does not use digital technology, for what purposes digital technologies are being used, how effective technologies and platforms are, and the implications and outcomes of these practices. The DSN addresses a number of core research themes as well as pursuing the development of new methodologies that intersect the social and computer sciences. Work engages with digital society across a range of scales: from global debates and trends through national contexts and priorities to local practices and engagements. Research addresses digital society concerns not only in countries with well-developed technological infrastructures and engagement but also in those with nascent digital penetration and uptake.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is the home of thirteen varied, interdisciplinary and ambitious departments. It is defined by innovation, diversity and uniqueness, whether it be in research, disciplines studied or graduates. World-leading in research and teaching, the Faculty strives to make an impact in all that it does, to further and discover knowledge, and to develop research and graduates to be proud of.

Data Power Conference organisers

Photograph of Helen Kennedy September 2014Professor Helen Kennedy

Professor of Digital Society

Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield

Helen Kennedy joined the University of Sheffield in November 2013 as Professor of Digital Society. She is interested in critical approaches to data mining, especially of social media data, the role of visualisations in data societies, and how to make data more accessible to ordinary citizens, or how to make the social life of data more public. The Data Power conference is being held in association with is associated with her Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Leadership Fellowship called Understanding Social Media Data Mining.

Picture of Jo BatesDr Jo Bates

Lecturer in Information Politics and Policy

Information School, University of Sheffield

Jo Bates is Lecturer in the Information School at the University of Sheffield. Jo's research focuses on two related areas: the socio-cultural and political economic influences on the production, sharing and re-use of data, and public policy on data access and re-use. She has conducted research on the development of Open Government Data policy in the UK and is currently researching the socio-cultural life of weather data.

Picture of Ysabel GerrardYsabel Gerrard

Research Assistant

School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds

Ysabel Gerrard is a PhD candidate in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. She is studying cultures of derision in social media fandom. The provisional title of her PhD thesis is: ‘Inequalities in women’s popular culture fandom: Online participation and teen television’.