Future-forming interdisciplinary research
  • Linda Woodhead (Co-Director)

    Linda is Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Co-Director of the Institute. Her work focuses on the ways in which religion, beliefs and values are changing, and what this means for the future. She’s particularly interested in future-forming research undertaken in partnership with stakeholders in that future.

    Research Theme: Future of Values and Beliefs

    Richard Harper (Co-Director)

    Richard is concerned with how new technologies shape us and how we in turn shape our technologies – in the space that is often known as Human Computer Interaction or HCI. He has written 13 books and over 160 scientific articles on topics such as the future of search engines and the latest incarnation of artificial intelligence. See his Homepage

    Research Theme: Future of Technologies

    Rebecca Braun (Co-Director)

    Rebecca Braun is Professor of Modern Languages and Creative Futures. She works across languages and cultures to make tangible the different ways creative practice shapes our engagement with societies of the future.

    Research Theme: Creative Futures

    Mike Berners-Lee

    Professor Mike Berners-Lee is director and principal consultant at Small World Consulting, which focusses on sustainability in organisations. He is a leading expert on carbon footprinting, author of ‘How Bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ and co-author of ‘The Burning Question’.

    Research Theme: Thriving in the Anthropocene

    Nick Dunn

    Nick is Professor of Urban Design at ImaginationLancaster and Associate Director of Research at Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts. His work responds to the modern city as a series of systems, flows and processes, and is explored through experimentation and discourse addressing the nature of urban space.

    Research Theme: Future of Cities and Urbanism

    Catherine Easton

    Dr Easton’s research interests focus upon internet governance, domain name regulation, intellectual property, access to technology and human/computer interaction. Dr Easton also carries out research on teaching law with technology.

    Research Theme: Future of Law and Technology

    Fiona Edmonds

    I am a historian of medieval Britain and Ireland, with research interests ranging from the sixth century to the twelfth. Particular areas of interest are the Irish Sea region in the Viking Age, and ‘Middle Britain’ before the emergence of the Anglo-Scottish border. I am also exploring the development of northern English identity down to the modern day.

    Research Theme: The North post-Brexit

    Mike Hazas

    Mike is an interdisciplinary academic who works at the interface of human-computer interaction and studies of social practice. He interrogates how digital systems such as learning thermostats, smartphones, superfast broadband, and robotic vacuum cleaners contribute to increasing standards for comfort and service provision, and thus tend to ratchet energy demand and carbon emissions.

    Research Theme: Everyday Futures

    Carlos Lopez-Galviz (Anniversary Lecturer)

    Carlos is a Lecturer in the Theories and Methods of Social Futures. His work interrogates futures thinking through the lens of ruins, cities and infrastructure. His forthcoming book will be Global Undergrounds:
    Exploring Cities Within (2016)

    Research Theme: Theories and Methods of Social Futures

    Roisin McNaney

    I am interested in all things digital health but am particularly passionate about using technology to facilitate health self monitoring and management, working with people experiencing long term conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s, dementia, stroke), and their care givers, to design healthcare technologies, supporting Speech and Language therapy practice through digital technology and exploring ethical encounters in Human Computer Interaction.

    Research Theme: Digital Health

    Ben Neimark

    Ben is passionate about just socio-economic, political and ecological futures in the global south. His research concerns the future of work, agrarian change and commodity chains in the green/blue and bio-economy. He is a human geographer and political ecologist in the Lancaster Environment Centre and helps run a global political ecology network (POLLEN).

    Research Theme: Future of work and livelihoods in the Global South

    Astrid Nordin

    Astrid’s research interests fall in the intersection of contemporary Chinese politics and international relations, broadly conceived, and critical theories of global politics. She is particularly interested in the contemporary deployment of concepts drawn from Chinese history and their relation to recent continental philosophy.

    Research Theme: Future of world orders and relations

    Laura Premack

    Laura works on the relationships between religion, culture, and politics in Africa and the Americas. Her research focuses on Pentecostal Christianity and related religions in Brazil, Nigeria, and the greater Atlantic world. A global historian by training, Laura pursues interdisciplinary work that speaks to a broad audience

    Research Theme: Future of Values, Beliefs, and Truth

    Emily Spiers (Anniversary Lecturer)

    Emily’s research focuses on performance, literary cultures and political activism. Currently, she is using the literary and political paradigm of spoken-word poetry in order to think through alternative future-oriented critical visions.

    Research Theme: Creative Futures

    Nicola Spurling (Anniversary Lecturer)

    Nicola’s research explores everyday futures and their implications for energy and transport demand, drawing on futures research and social theories of practice. She is interested in how working lives, daily lives and mobility have changed since 1950, and has a particular interest in New Towns as sites for futures research.

    Research Theme: Everyday Futures

    Bron Szerszynski

    Bronislaw is Reader in Sociology at Lancaster University, UK. His research crosses the social and natural sciences, arts and humanities in order to situate the changing relationship between humans, environment and technology in the longer perspective of human and planetary history. Recent work has focused on the Anthropocene, geoengineering and planetary evolution.

    Research Theme: Anthropocene and planetary futures.
  • Matthew Pilling

    Matthew’s research is concerned with the Future of Making. He is interested in how we make machines that make things, using diegetic prototyping to explore possible speculative futures.

    Research Theme: Future of Making

    Georgia Newmarch

    Georgia’s doctoral research focuses on electricity, contested energy futures and everyday life. She is interested in infrastructure, memory, technology and the relationship between different types of power.