Books

December 2021

In today’s digital society, a critical understanding of data is essential for all. Knowledge about data is often split into areas of expertise, so that processes that span algorithms, servers, users and institutions are rarely discussed coherently and accessibly. Data and Society: A Critical Introduction presents a set of concepts to assess how data shape science, policy and politics, including how data are turned into metrics that are used to make decisions. It connects data as a highly technological practice to broad social questions of evidence, innovation and knowledge.

Pre-print available via University of Groningen repository.

Book from Sage.

Smart grids are a complex phenomenon involving new, active roles for consumers and prosumers, novel social, political and cultural practices, advanced ICT, new markets, security of supply issues, the informational turn in energy, valuation of assets and investments, technological innovation and (de)regulation. Furthermore, smart grids offer new interfaces, in turn creating hybrid fields: with the increasing use of electric vehicles and electric transportation, smart grids represent the crossroads of energy and mobility. While the aim is to achieve more sustainable production, transportation and use of energy, the importance of smart grids actually has less to do with electricity, heat or gas, and far more with transforming the infrastructure needed to deliver energy, as well as the roles of its owners, operators and users.

This book presents a cross-disciplinary approach to smart grids, offering an invaluable basis for understanding their complexity and potential, and for discussing their technical, legal, economic, societal, psychological and security aspects. Book from Springer.

Today we are witnessing dramatic changes in the way scientific and scholarly knowledge is created, codified, and communicated. This transformation is connected to the use of digital technologies and the virtualization of knowledge. In this book, scholars from a range of disciplines consider just what, if anything, is new when knowledge is produced in new ways. Does knowledge itself change when the tools of knowledge acquisition, representation, and distribution become digital?

Issues of knowledge creation and dissemination go beyond the development and use of new computational tools. The book, which draws on work from the Virtual Knowledge Studio, brings together research on scientific practice, infrastructure, and technology. . The contributors combine an appreciation of the transformative power of the virtual with a commitment to the empirical study of practice and use.

Book from MIT Press.

.

Current book project: Revealing Relations: Knowledge Infrastructures for liveable futures (officially commissioned, Bristol University Press)

A wide range of data practices feed into knowledge infrastructures that are essential to how we know nature: satellite imaging of rainforest, tracking of birds’ migrations using sensors, models of climate change or crowd sourcing of wildlife sightings. But this knowledge and its structure are not without consequences: in a first instance, the underlying logic driving the development of these systems is that of assessing resources. Even infrastructures that are more distant from colonial or prospecting projects are shaped by standardisation, commensurability and valuation practices. This means that knowledge infrastructures have overwhelmingly served to map and exploit assets, and to track loss of biodiversity or other forms of deterioration.

As we face multiple environmental crises, this book proposes a shift from a focus on monitoring nature for extractive or protective purposes, to a focus on foregrounding connection for common survival. Our lives are enabled by complex assemblages and an interplay between forms of life (Tsing 2015, Puig de la Bellacasa 2017). By rethinking and retooling knowledge infrastructures to emphasize linkages–connections, context and interdependence–a new way of relating to nature becomes possible.

Revealing Relations uses science and technology studies and feminist critique to ground why these changes are needed and to spur the reader towards creative possibilities. It will inspire those seeking to innovate approaches to the design and use of knowledge infrastructures, and help rethink interfaces, data collection and use of data for policy. This book contributes to a new basis for trust in data and knowledge, using digital means to connect and enhance common contexts for life.

%d bloggers like this: