This theme cuts across interests in emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, big data, the 'internet of things', and all forms of digitally mediated communication.

Mission statement

Our mission is to find out ways in which technology can be mobilised to improve individual and societal outcomes. Instead of being limited to any one technology or platform alone, this theme provides an expansive and ambitious landscape for critical inquiries about technology and its intersections with health, politics, power, inequalities, cultures and communities. We aim to:

  • Critically interrogate platform societies about the promises, possibilities and pitfalls of digital and data technologies, and their use by individuals, communities, societies, publics.
  • Contribute cross-disciplinary evidence on risks, opportunities, ethics, justice, inequalities, trust and wellbeing in platform societies.
  • Connect Surrey research on the societal consequences of data and digital technologies to global conversations on practice and policy in technology and society.

Across the breadth of departments here at Surrey, colleagues, at all career levels, are researching technologies and platforms as interfaces, but equally, their societal consequences, the ethical dimensions of their use, the deeply contextual nature of ways in which individuals, communities, societies can make use of technologies. Colleagues are questioning, critically, creatively, incisively, what it means to live in digital and platform societies.

The ambitions for this Technology and Society theme is to bring together research which pays attention to these stark, sometimes surprising societal consequences of data and digital technologies, and to use the enormous strengths we have across the physical, health and social sciences, to connect to our counterparts across the world.

Next steps

This theme has taken off with an extensive mapping of any and all research on societal uses and consequences of data and digital technologies across the University. We will begin adding subsidiary research interests, thematic groupings and seed-funded projects as this theme develops.