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CeMoRe Seminar with Thomas Birtchnell

Date: 19 November 2013 Time: 4.15 to 6.00pm

Venue: Bowland North SR22

Aero-Mobile Methods: Doing Social Research with Drones

There is a growing body of work in geography and sociology on the impact of drones on warfare, surveillance and civil rights. This paper assesses the challenges of using drones for social research. Both affordable and expensive drones are now available on the market; however, there has been next to no reflection on how drones might impact upon the social sciences as a research tool. Aerial data capture poses some profound possibilities for doing 'mobile methods'. First, this paper explores the history of drones and how they are currently imagined in the social sciences. Second, aero-mobile methods are proposed as a possible research and teaching avenue for using Un(hu)manned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Third, the resources available for using drones are considered according to the various needs of social scientists.And finally, the challenge of incorporating drones into current methodological frameworks is considered through an experiment with a drone.

There will be a 'free' meal in town following the seminar. If you would like to come along please email

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Computing and Communications, Geography, Lancaster Environment Centre, Organisation, Work and Technology, Politics and International Relations, Politics, Philosophy and Religion PPR, Sociology


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