Future-forming interdisciplinary research

Thinking futures is now widespread, fateful and problematic. Yet much futures research neglects the insights that social science, the arts and humanities, can offer. Lancaster’s Institute for Social Futures works innovatively across disciplinary boundaries linking science, social science and humanities to examine what futures might develop within key domains of human/material activity.

The aim of the Institute for Social Futures is to improve thinking, visioning, analysis and data relating to futures. It will bring high-quality social science theory and research into productive relations with science, technology, health and management and through working with many external partners.

Linda Woodhead (Co-Director)

Linda Woodhead MBE is Professor in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. She researches values, beliefs, and religious change. In ISF she leads work on the future of culture and cultural institutions, and on ‘new publics’ (including more-than-human publics) on- and offline.

Richard Harper (Co-Director)

Richard leads research on how new technologies shape us, how we, in turn, shape our technologies, and how, in this way, the future is made. He has written and works on topics as diverse as the future of search engines and the latest incarnation of artificial intelligence.

Rebecca Braun (Co-Director)

Rebecca Braun is Professor of Modern Languages and Creative Futures. She researches ideas and practices of authorship across diverse cultural contexts. In ISF, she leads research on all forms of creative practice to make tangible the different ways it can shape societies of the future.