Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Research Seminar: Noortje Marres – From the lab to the street? Mapping the issues of driverless cars with digital methods

Clothworkers’ North, G.12 Lecture Theatre

This seminar will consider the use of digital methods of issue mapping to elucidate a substantive question: how have driverless cars been received ‘in society’? In the UK, street trials of driverless cars have been on-going since at least 2016 on motorways and in city centres. Social media provide a prominent site for analysing public engagement with this form of innovation in society and, as I will argue, they allow us to investigate how relations between debate forums and field sites are being configured as part of this innovation drive. I will present preliminary results of analysing driverless car tests with social media, in particular Twitter and Youtube, and will conclude with a discussion about the capacity of issue mapping to render analys-able changing relations between field and platform, street and laboratory, in a digital society.

Noortje Marres is Associate Professor and Research Director in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM) at the University of Warwick (UK). She studied sociology and philosophy of science and technology at the University of Amsterdam and the Ecole des Mines (Paris), and much of her research focuses on problems of participation in technological societies. Noortje has also contributed to the development of issue mapping methodology, in particular online methods of issue network analysis. Her first book, Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics (Palgrave) came out in paperback in 2015 and her second,
Digital Sociology (Polity) was published this year.

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