Future-forming interdisciplinary research
  • Linda Woodhead (Director)

    Linda Woodhead is Professor of Sociology of Religion. She studies beliefs, values, rituals and rituals in contemporary societies, and how they relate to wider social changes.

    Richard Harper (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.

    Rebecca Braun (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.

  • Carlos Lopez-Galviz (Anniversary Lecturer)

    Carlos is a Lecturer in the Theories and Methods of Social Futures. His work focuses on the historic relationship of cities, ruins, and infrastructure, particularly urban mobility and transport, and how we can connect it to their future today.

    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.

    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.

  • Every year the ISF renews its core membership of Fellows from the main faculties of Lancaster University.

    Megan Blakely

    Megan’s work exists in the interdisciplinary penumbra of intellectual property law, technology policy, and cultural heritage; she lectures in the Law School.  Her current research broadly concerns contemporary issues in copyright, such as user perceptions of ownership in virtual worlds, legal and cultural impacts of digitisation, and commoditisation of subcultures.

    Sarah Brearley

    Sarah is passionate about improving the experiences of people with life limiting illness, and their caregivers, in the last years, months and days of life. Her research focuses on the experiences of care and symptoms, particularly for those who may experience health inequalities such as people with learning disabilities.

    Mark Hurst

    Mark’s research focuses on the contemporary history of human rights, political dissent, and activism. He is interested in the interplay between expertise, political influence, and the construction of morality, and is currently working on a history of Amnesty International.

    Linda O’Keeffe

    Linda’s current research explores the impact of renewable energy infrastructures on the community soundscapes of Northern Spain and Northern England, and the new urban soundscapes of Sunway, Malaysia. She has developed innovative listening methodologies that include sound walking/mapping and performance within and alongside communities.

    Laura Premack

    Laura Premack is Lecturer in Global Religion & Politics. A global historian with expertise in Africa and the Americas, Laura works on contemporary global Christianity and explores the intersections between past, present and future.

    Mark Rouncefield

    Mark Rouncefield is an ethnographer studying ‘users’ and ‘technology’, since, as Casey suggests (in ‘Set Phasers on Stun and other True Tales of Design’): “New Technologies will succeed or fail based on our ability to minimise the incompatabilities between the characteristics of people and the characteristics of the things we create and use”.

    Andrew Tate

    Andrew Tate is Reader in Literature, Religion and Aesthetics. His work focuses on the intersections between spirituality, theory and theology. His most recent book is Apocalyptic Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2018). He is currently working on future-oriented fiction and graphic narratives, with a particular focus on environmental crisis.

    David Tyfield

    David’s research focuses on the interaction of political economy, mobilities and socio-technical change in the context of global environmental change, with a particular focus on China and its growing global influence.  He is currently exploring how China’s project of ‘ecological civilization’ is shaping cities along the New Silk Roads.

    Johnny Unger

    Johnny is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language. He researches at the intersection of language, politics and digital media, which he investigates using critical discourse studies. He is particularly interested how social media are used for protest and resistance, and in constructions of national identity.

  • Long-serving ISF Fellows

    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’.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Monika Buscher

    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.

  • 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.

    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.

  • 2017-18

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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).

    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.

    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.

    Laura Premack

    Laura Premack is Lecturer in Global Religion & Politics. A global historian with expertise in Africa and the Americas, Laura works on contemporary global Christianity and explores the intersections between past, present and future.

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    2016-17

    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.

    Monika Buscher

    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.

    Corina Sas

    Corina’s research interests include human-computer interaction, interaction design, user experience, designing tools and interactive systems to support high level skill acquisition and training such as creative and reflective thinking in design, autobiographical reasoning, emotional processing and spatial cognition.

  • William Webb

    William Webb is Director of Webb Search, a consulting company he established to provide technical and strategic consultancy across the wireless communications space. His activities include advising CEOs, Government Ministers, regulatory bodies and acting as an Expert Witness in complex cases involving wireless regulations and patents. William is also CEO of the Weightless SIG, which is harmonising the technology as a global standard.

    William A. Callahan

    William A. Callahan is professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. He is an expert on China and alternative futures, and a filmmaker as well as an academic.

    Edwin Booth

    Edwin Booth is the Chairman & CEO of E H Booth & Co Ltd the proprietors of Booths Food Stores in the North of England. He represents the fifth generation of the family that has operated Booths since 1847. Edwin became an HRH the Prince Of Wales Business Ambassador for the North West in 2005 and was finalist for the Ernst & Young – Master Entrepreneur of the Year (North) award. He has also been awarded the Institute of Directors Director of the Year for Lancashire and the North West.

    Charles Clarke

    Charles Clarke was Member of Parliament for Norwich South from 1997 to 2010 and served in government from 1998 to 2006. He was previously Chief of Staff to Neil Kinnock and a councillor in the London Borough of Hackney. He now holds Visiting Professorships at Lancaster University and Kings College London and works with educational organisations internationally.