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Dr Kristrun Gunnarsdottir

Formerly at Lancaster University

Kristrun Gunnarsdottir

Current Teaching

This year, 2015, I lectured in SOCL315, Imagining the Future, convened by Dr Richard Tutton. Titled, ''From grand societal challenges to human-device mergers and autonomy for machines", my teaching is based in the findings of an EU FP7-funded project, EPINET. The class explored current trends in innovation politics together with two examples of innovation practices from recent years that can be captured as: 1. The making of autonomy for robotic systems, and 2. The making of intelligence for synergetic prosperity.

Current Research

My research is currently focussed on EPINET (http://epinet.no/content/epinet-project), funded by the EC (FP7 Science in Society). I am the PI at Lancaster and in charge of three work packages, thereof a case study on wearable sensors for health and self care, fitness and wellbeing, and a study on disciplinarity and value commitment in teamwork under pressure to perform effectively and integrate work across disciplines. For previous EC-FP7-funded projects I have worked on, see website on EC-funded research on ICTs at Cesagen).

Research Interests

I came to Lancaster University in 2009 to work at the Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen) on projects wih focus on ICTs and technology convergence. My research interests in ICTs are focused on two distinct topics:

  1. Socio-technical analysis and assessment of ICT-driven innovations and visionary work, public engagement, policy programmes and governance.
  2. Human-device interdependence in situated practice and problem-solving, in particular how anomalies and other phenomena of disorder can manifest issues of social relevance (including issues of responsibility, competence, accountability and legitimacy), and how they are recognised and managed on an ongoing basis.

The former interest I began developing during research for the Science in Society programme of the European Commission, analysing research mission statements for ICTs, future scenarios and strategic agendas, reviews and the technical literature, blog and forum discussions. My focus has been on the socio-technical imaginaries and the politics of innovation, policy developments and the challenges posed by demand for wider participation and inclusion across professions, expertise, occupations and experiences—demand for adequate decision-making protocol in agenda-setting in the early stages of new-emerging sciences and technologies and other societal innovations.

More generally, my research interests can be captured as Digital Sociology. I am interested in the affordances and limitations of new media and online communication and I am currently quite taken by novel thought-styles and thought-collectives emerging in relation to the proliferation of wearables and sensor technologies, in particular, the shaping of knowledge-creation and sharing with claims upon know-how and future action.

My PhD thesis centers on human-device interdependence, The Archive Saga: Shepherds of data, document and code, and their will to order, using methods and insights from studies in Ethnomethodology and Computer Supported Cooperative Work. I am still keen to continue work in this area. In particular, I am interested in hands-on operations and management of new and emerging systems that are designed specifically to detect and identify critical anomalies in a person's condition or behaviour, and set in motion interception and intervention.

See also research output/publications and CV.

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