News

CIS convenor, Dr Syed Mustafa Ali, has been invited to guest edit a special issue of ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies dedicated to exploring “The Decolonial Question Concerning Technology”. For further information, including submission deadlines, visit CFPs.


“Learning from Luther: 95 Theses about Technology” by Professor John Naughton (Cambridge University)

In this talk, John Naughton will reflect on four decades spent trying to improve the public understanding of technology, arguing with Internet companies and culminating with some ideas borrowed from Martin Luther.

Thursday 3 May 2018, 12.30pm-2.00pm (Lunch at 12.00pm), Meeting Room 1, Michael Young Building, Walton Hall, The Open University. [Please note the change of venue]

(NB: The talk will be accessible remotely online. Email info@dtmd.org.uk for more information in this regard.)

This keynote talk launches the recently formed Critical Information Studies (CIS) research group within the School of Computing and Communications at The Open University.

Biography: John Naughton is Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the OU. He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at Cambridge, where he is co-Director of the Leverhulme-funded ‘Conspiracy and Democracy’ project. With David Runciman, he was co-Director of CRASSH’s ‘Technology and Democracy’ project which has recently concluded. He is also the Observer’s Technology columnist. He was a member of the Systems Group in what was originally the OU’s Faculty of Technology (now Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) from 1972 until 2011. After leaving the OU he served as Vice-President of Wolfson College, Cambridge from 2011-2015 and is currently Director of the college’s Press Fellowship Programme. His most recent book — From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: what you really need to know about the Internet — is published by Quercus.
The group has been renamed! We were, until 2018, the Difference That Makes a Difference (DTMD) but are now the Critical Information Studies (CIS) group. Watch this space for news of a series of talks to launch our new identity.

We sadly announce the death of a key member of the group, Professor Christopher Bissell, on 13th December 2017. Chris was an exceptional person, and his passing is a serious loss to the group as well as a sorrow to his many colleagues and friends. Please see this brief reflection of his contribution to the group and beyond.