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Louise Mullagh

Research student

Louise Mullagh

InfoLab21 Lancaster University Bailrigg Lancaster LA1 4WA


United Kingdom

Current Research

PhD research, due for submission summer 2017


Datadrifts:A jouney through people, place and data (working title)

My research explores geographical and social inclusivity in the realm of 'big' environmental data, in particular that there is a tendency to overlook people and place. The urban dominates this paradigm, with many rural and remote areas left out as a result. Data is seen as having many answers to complex problems but many people have difficulties understanding what big data are, and in turn are unable to navigate what is often invisible and collected automatically.

The data-drift is an emergent method that seeks to engage communities in exploring data: how data are collected about and by them, what data means in their own place and how heterogeneous data might enable them to take part in this new paradigm. This method also seeks to explore the possibilities for heterogeneous data (such as literature, memory, lived experience, physical objects, photographs) to be included and embedded in flood models. By placing this 'rich' data within this traditionally data-dominated realm, questions are raised as to the importance of considering people and place not only in the collection of data, but in the use of models by a wider audience in order to engage communities in conversations and action about climate change, and the big data paradigm.

I am interested in walking as method of engaging different communities in conversations regarding technological issues. The data-drift that will take place in early summer will bring together climate and environmental scientists, data scientists, modellers, statisticians, artists, members of a community who regularly experience flooding and members of the permaculture community with an interest in natural flood management.




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