Leeds Critical Data Studies Group


photoDr Heather Ford is a University Academic Fellow in Digital Methods at the University of Leeds and based in the School of Media and Communication and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA). She received her doctorate from the University of Oxford’s Oxford Internet Institute and did postgraduate studies in information management and systems and technology policy at University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University in the United States and at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. With a background in internet rights activism working with organisations including Creative Commons, Privacy International, the Association for Progressive Communications and Ushahidi, her research interests include issues around the governance of digital platforms, media power in networked information environments and the design and politics of software platforms. Ford has written for a variety of media and academic publications including the International Journal of Communication, the Association for Computing Machinery and Big Data & Society.


Dr Carlo Leeds staff photoPerrotta is University Academic Fellow in Digital Learning. His background is in social psychology, sociology and cultural theory. He has published about a variety of topics including the “datafication” of education and the use of video games in schools.
Before joining the University of Leeds Carlo was a Research Associate at the Institute of Education in London and a researcher at Futurelab, a non-for-profit research organisation that explored the potential of digital technology in formal education. Carlo is interested in use of data in education, from the so called “learning analytics” to data mining in the service of business strategies in an increasingly complex and contested “education market”.  His University of Leeds profile is here, and his recent publications can be found on his Academia.edu profile.



Dr Viktoria Spaiser

Dr Viktoria Spaiser is a University Academic Fellow in Political Science Informatics at the University of Leeds and based in the School of Politics and International Studies and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA). Previously she worked in Sweden with David Sumpter (Applied Mathematics) and Peter Hedström (Analytical Sociology) and in Switzerland with Dirk Helbing (Sociophysics). She has a background in social science and computer sciences and is interested in applying mathematical and computational approaches to social and political science research questions. She has been working on a wide range of topics, including political participation and protest, democratisation, development, segregation and sustainability, using various sources of data, such as register data, cross-country panel data and Twitter data. Currently, she is increasingly interested in combining “big data” and experimental methods. For more information please see her homepage: www.viktoriaspaiser.com.




an7a1742Dr Carly Lightowlers is an Academic Fellow in Policing Data Analytics based in the School of Law. Carly’s work focuses on using secondary and administrative data with which to study issues of crime and justice. Her published work to date has examined the role of alcohol in violent offending as well as the contextual backdrop and emergent criminal justice response in relation to the English summer riots of 2011.

Carly also works on the Data Analytics strand of the N8 Policing Research Partnership and joined the University of Leeds with a background in Criminology (BA, Hons Lancaster University) and Research Methods and Statistics (Msc, University of Manchester), after a four year Senior Lectureship in Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University. She completed her ESRC funded PhD in 2012 (University of Manchester) on the development of drinking patterns and violent behaviour amongst young people, during which she held an internship in the Home Office’s Research and Analysis Unit. Dr Lightowlers has also held research positions in local government and worked as an Alcohol Researcher for the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University. Her University of Leeds profile can be found here.



rosey_oxford_croppedDr Rosemary Lucy Hill is a Lecturer in Sociology at University of Leeds. She researches gender, data visualisations and popular music. She completed her PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of York, examining the representations and experiences of women heavy metal fans. Her postdoc research on the Seeing Data project focussed on how non-specialists make sense of data visualisations circulating in the media. She is currently researching how abortion is represented through data visualisation, and the politics of what it means to ‘do good’ with data. Rosemary’s book, Gender, Metal and the Media: Women Fans and the Gendered Experience of Music is due to be published with Palgrave Macmillan in October 2016, and she has also published on the moral panic around emo, the conventions of data visualisations and sexist discourses in responses to data visualisations. More information on these publications can be found here.




Kevin Macnish

Dr Kevin Macnish is a Teaching Fellow and Consultant in Applied Ethics at the IDEA (Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied) Centre , a part of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures. His research is in the ethics of surveillance, security and technology. He is the author of numerous articles on privacy and surveillance ethics and has organised two international conferences on this subject at the University of Leeds (details of publications are here). Kevin has been interviewed by Channel 4, BBC radio and television, and the Atlantic magazine, and has spoken at both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in relation to his research.  He is currently writing an introductory text book on surveillance ethics for Routledge.  Kevin is also chair of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee.

Kevin conducts ethical analysis for security and ICT projects. He has been involved with a number of European Union projects with a focus in these areas and is an Ethics Expert with REA, the research arm of the European Commission.


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