How we confront power in the digital age is my main research focus. I write, teach and advocate about digital transformations and society. Right now I’m researching the impacts of digital technologies on care sectors. I use social care to study who benefits from innovation more broadly, who pays for innovation, and who gets to decide. Two questions drive this work:
- How can the benefits of emerging technologies best contribute to a flourishing world?
- What diverse kinds of knowledge, human capabilities and research infrastructures do we need to imagine and build this world?
I’m a Senior Research Fellow at UCL’s Department of Science and Technology Studies where I’m an expert on innovation in social care. I am the principal investigator leading Empowering Future Care Workforces: Scoping Capabilities to Leverage Assistive Robotics through Co-Design funded by the UKRI Trustworthy and Autonomous Systems Hub in the United Kingdom. I’m also working on the UKRI-funded UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator and the EPSRC-funded Environmental Impacts of Digital Services on Health and Well-being in the Home. This work is often about finding ways in which innovation can be steered towards social progress, and calling out reasons why it so often is pointed in the opposite direction. Reasons such as incumbent power, special interests and systematic inequalities.
I also do my best to ensure this work contributes to building for movements that can challenge powerful interests and achieve a more sustainable and fairer world. In 2014 I helped found Uplift, Ireland’s largest people-powered digital advocacy organisation, where I advise on strategy and governance.
c:\>recent writing, research notes and papers
- RGS 2023: How digital infrastructures in UK sheltered housing empower from within
- Minor frictions 3: virtual wards, real exclusions
- Evaluating post-pandemic plans for social care data infrastructures
- Providing ethics advice in a pandemic, in theory and in practice
- Minor frictions 2: attention is all you need
- TAS ’23: Empowering future care workforces
- University Campus Living Labs
- Minor frictions 1: ai’s control layers
- Evidence submission: Parliamentary inquiry into digital exclusion and the cost of living
- 4S 2022: Innovation and neglect in UK social care
c:\>projects and profiles
- Work: UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies
- Research project: Empowering Future Care Workforces
- Research project: Standardised Architecture for Trusted Research Environments
- Research project: Environmental impacts of digital services for health and wellbeing in the home
- Research project: Fit but you know it – Decolonising fashion industry norms around fit
- Research project: UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator
- Research project: SCALINGS: scaling up co-creation, pathways and challenges for socially robust innovation
- Advocacy – Uplift: people-powered change
- Twitter – @cian
- ORCiD – orcid.org/0000-0003-4467-9687
- ResearchGate – researchgate.net/profile/Cian_Odonovan