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Home > Research > Researchers > Monika Buscher
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Monika Buscher supervises 6 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Monika Buscher

Professor

Monika Buscher

Bowland North

Lancaster University

Bailrigg

Lancaster LA1 4YN

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7890 847166

Location:

Research overview

Monika’s research explores the digital dimension of contemporary ‘mobile lives’ with a focus on IT ethics. She combines qualitative, often ethnographic studies of everyday practices, social theory and design through mobile, experimental, ‘inventive’ engagement with industry and stakeholders. An analytical orientation to intersecting physical and virtual mobilities, blocked movements and immobilities of people, objects and information drives this work. Monika’s most recent research brings this perspective to the informationalization of large-scale multi-agency emergency response, which raises opportunities and challenges around social media-based public engagement, agile and ‘whole community’ approaches to disaster response, data sharing, data protection and privacy. 

PhD supervision

I am particularly interested in proposals on:

- mobilities research, design research, Science and Technology Studies (STS),
- art and inventive practice, studies of innovation and socio-technical change,
- ubiquitous computing, computer supported collaborative work, digital economy,
- crisis management, security, IT Ethics.

Methodologically, I am interested in ethnographic, ethnomethodological, STS approaches, mobile, inventive, experimental methods, participatory, collaborative, engaged research, especially informing social innovation, policy or design.

Please contact me to discuss topics for PhD research.

Profile

Monika Büscher is Professor of Sociology, Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research and Associate Director for the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University. She co-edits the book series Changing Mobilities.

Monika currently leads research on disaster mobilities and ethical, legal and social issues of IT innovation in the EU FP7 SecInCore project. In 2011 she received an honorary doctorate for her work in interdisciplinary participatory design and IT innovation at Roskilde University, Denmark. 

Her theoretical orientation builds on phenomenology, pragmatism, ethnomethodology, workplace studies, science and technology studies, feminist theory, non-representational theory. Public sociology, participatory design, computer supported cooperative work, design studies and service design furnish epistemologies and methodologies for engagement with stakeholders.

The book series Changing Mobilities, which I edit together wih Peter Adey, invites contributions that address the empirical realities of changing mobilities and opportunities to inform design, policy and social change.

Please contact me at m.buscher@lancaster.ac.uk

Twitter @mbuscher

Selected Research projects

SecInCoRe (Secure Dynamic Cloud for Information, Communication and Resource Interoperability based on Pan-European Disaster Inventory)

The SecInCoRe project identifies data sets, processes, information systems and business models used by first responders and Police authorities to inform the development of a dynamic and secure cloud based ‘common information space’. The main goals of SecInCoRe are:

  • To develop a pan-European inventory of past critical events and disaster and their consequences focusing collaborative emergency operations and real-time decision making while taking ethics, law, social practices and privacy into account.
  • Understand ethical, legal and social issues and the regulatory environment, and the constraints and possibilities they imply for the use of pan European cloud based information management services.
  • Design of a secure, dynamic cloud based knowledge base and communication system concept including the ability to use emergency information by means of a trans-European communication infrastructure.

Bridge: Bridging resources and agencies in large-scale emergency management (2011-2015)

A collaborative design project funded by the EU Commission. We are co-designing a system to support interoperability (both technical and social) in large-scale emergency relief efforts with stakeholders. The system will be a bridge between multiple agencies: It will help to mediate the activities of the command and professional staff, which is where most of the strategic decision making must occur; it will also help to merge the systems and resources from different agencies into a cohesive whole and support collaboration with user generated 'crisis informatics'.

Citizens Transforming Society: Tools for Change (CaTalyST) (2011-2014)

This project will bring together a group of social scientists (sociology; anthropology), computer scientists (mobile computing; web2.0; distributed systems), management scientists (consumer behaviour) and designers (innovation) to develop next generation systems that empower citizens to create bottom-up innovative solutions to 'wicked' societal problems. It will promote cross-disciplinary working across Lancaster University (and beyond) between the School of Computing & Communications, Sociology, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster Environment Centre, and Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts.

New Interaction Order (2010-2011)

This pilot project studies the 'new' interaction order from different empirical and analytical perspectives. Drawing on sociology, ethnomethodology, criminology, geography, and design, we are carrying out studies of 'behaviour in public places' in Manchester.

Design for Flexibility and Change within Health Service Providers (DFC)

This project explores how medical practitioners can mobilize local and expert domain knowledge and dovetail it with new design and managerial skills to implement the Practice Based Commissioning (PBC) framework to shape NHS service provision. Designing new health and care service models and facilities requires creative, managerial and/or design skills and this 18 month research project is part of the EPSRC funded innovation centred called HACIRIC (Health and Care Infrastructure Research and Innovation Centre).

Innovative media for a digital economy

In this research cluster, we investigate digital economy practices that are emerging around the capabilities of social, mobile and pervasive technologies. We explore how we can develop new services, new forms of exchange and interaction that benefit the whole of the UK economy.

PalCom, Palpable Computing: A new perspective on Ambient Computing, FP6 IST Future and Emerging Technologies, 2004-7.

As computing technologies become an ever more 'invisible' and powerful part of our mobile lives, it is crucial that people are supported in understanding what these technologies are doing and what they could do for them.

WorkSPACE, Distributed Work Support through Component Based SPAtial Computing Environments, FP5 IST Future and Emerging Technologies, 2000-3.

Mobile workers often generate dynamic configurations of spaces, information, and people - within the office, but also beyond. These practices pose great challenges to the computer as-we-know-it today and open up a range of opportunities for innovative design. Spatial computing environments respond to these challenges. They exploit technical possibilities to support the social and spatial organization of work.

Research Interests

My research explores the digital dimension of contemporary ‘mobile lives’ with a particular focus on: 

  • everyday practices, especially distributed collaboration, collective intelligence, digital urbanism
  • relational, affirmative ethics, IT ethics, informational mobilities and informational self-determination
  • mobile, disclosive and 'inventive' methodologies
  • co-production of research, policy, socio-technical innovation

My work combines social research with design and innovation. It involves close engagement with diverse collaborators from industry and diverse stakeholder organisations. It is interdisciplinary, experimental, engaged ‘public sociology’ designed to explore and shape socio-technical futures.

Current Teaching

  • Disasters, why do things go wrong?
  • MA Mobilities, Society and Change
  • Media in a Global Age

PhD Supervisions Completed

Paula Bialski - Becoming Intimately Mobile

Paula's Thesis has been published: Becoming Intimately Mobile. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Paula now works at Leuphania University

Jen Southern - Comobility: Distance and Proximity on the Move in Locative Art Practice

Jen now works at Lancaster University

Lucy Kimbell - An inventive practice perspective on designing

Lucy works as a an artist, service designer and scholar. http://www.lucykimbell.com 

External PhD Supervision

Ariane Fernandes da Conceição - April - October 2015
PhD Researcher Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Luzarraga, Arantzazu - 
6/01/14 → 4/04/14
 
Le Manikas, Maria - 2/09/13 → 30/11/13

Ståhl, Asa - 1/05/12 → 30/06/12
 
Lindström, Kristina - 1/05/12 → 30/06/12
 
Jesper Wolff Olsen (visiting PhD student): Palpable computing

Dr. Sergio Benicio (2009/10): Hypermobility

Dr Jamie O'Brien (2008/9) Honorary Research Fellow - now at EngD Centre in Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation Computer Science Department University College London

  • Published

    Mobile methods

    Buscher, M. (ed.), Urry, J. (ed.) & Witchger, K. (ed.) 2010 London: Routledge. 206 p.

    Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

  • Published

    Collective intelligence in crises

    Buscher, M., Liegl, M. & Thomas, V. 2014 Social collective intelligence: combining the powers of humans and machines to build a smarter society. Miorandi, D., Maltese, V., Rovatsos, M., Nijholt, A. & Stewart, J. (eds.). Springer, p. 243-265 23 p. (Computational Social Sciences Series)

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • Published

    Privacy, security, liberty: ICT in crises

    Buscher, M., Liegl, M. & Perng, S-Y. 2014 In : International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. 6, 4, p. 76-92 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Published

    Peripheral response: Microblogging during the 22/7/2011 Norway attacks

    Perng, S-Y., Buscher, M., Halvorsrud, R., Wood, L., Stiso, M., Ramirez, L. & Al-Akkad, A. 04/2012 Proceedings of the 9th International ISCRAM Conference – Vancouver, Canada, April 2012.. Rothkrantz, L., Ristvej , J. & Franco, Z. (eds.). Academic Publishers, 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

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