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Oxford Internet Institute

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Oxford Internet Institute University of Oxford

OII Newsletter February 2014

Dear friends and colleagues,

If the start of this year is anything to go by, 2014 promises to be another busy and exciting year for the OII. I am delighted that Ian Brown will be presenting this year's prestigious Oxford London Lecture: a series that aims to connect the widest possible audience to some of Oxford University's ground-breaking research. Ian will be discussing how far societies can shape the development of computing and communications technologies in order to serve the public good as well as private interests. Held in London on 18 March, you can book tickets now for the Oxford London Lecture 2014: Keeping our secrets?

In January, I attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, which was a good opportunity to see what the global elite think about technological change and its role in "reshaping the world" (you can read my thoughts on the OII's policy blog). I presented on collective action and mobilization in the social media age as part of Oxford University's "Ideas Lab", convened by the Oxford Martin School. In February, the OII was invited to join a UK-Japan mission organised by the British Embassy to uncover possible areas of collaboration between the UK and Japan on the theme of Big Data. Scott Hale and I spent a week in Japan, presenting OII research and meeting with industry, government, and academic leaders.

We look forward to the second of our OII Bellwether Lectures (28 February), when Rob Kitchin will discuss "Big Data and Smart Urbanism". Ethan Zuckerman provided an excellent introduction to this series, which aims to bring world-leading intellectuals to Oxford to lecture on the social implications of the Internet: we are pleased that they have proved so popular. Our new philosophy and technology seminar series is also underway, exploring the conceptual nature and practical consequences of technologies.

Finally, the application deadline for our Summer Doctoral Programme is 24 February, and the final deadline for our Masters programme (2014/15 entry) is 14 March.

Best wishes,
Helen Margetts, Director

In this issue...

Policy News 

One of the many benefits of being in Oxford is the incredible array of seminars and lectures available, and over the past two terms, we’ve been doing our bit to engage colleagues and students around the University in research and policy issues that matter to us. A good seminar series emphasises the intellectual connections between different speakers and topic, and ours have certainly not shied away from addressing theses of great social importance. Our first Politics and the Internet series drew speakers from the European and UK Parliaments, US administration as well as industry, and elicited frank discussion of the challenges of making digital policies for the public good. Similarly the ongoing series on privacy issues in genomic medicine, held jointly with Balliol’s Interdisciplinary Institute, has delved deeply into questions such as how to ensure the security of such sensitive data, or how to reframe informed consent to better communicate risks and benefits. For more information about these and other policy-relevant series such as the ICT4D, PhilTech and Breaking Boundaries seminars, please visit the Events section of the OII website.


Latest Publications from OII Faculty

Brown, I. (2013) Transparency to protect Internet freedom: a shared commitment. Council of Europe CDMSI (2013) Misc21, December 2013.

Dutton, W. H. (2013) The Fifth Estate: The Internet's Gift to Democratic Governance. InterMEDIA 41 (4) 20-24.

Dutton, W. H. (ed.) with the assistance of Dubois, E. (2014) Politics and the Internet: Volumes I-IV. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis Routledge.

Graham, M., and Dutton, W. H. (eds) (2014) Society and the Internet: How Networks of Information and Communication are Changing our Lives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Powell, A. and Nash, V. (2013) Beyond Rational Games: An Analysis of the 'Ecology of Values' in Internet Governance Debates. Communication, Culture & Critique 6 (4) 616-633.

Przybylski, A.K., Deci, E.L., Rigby, C.S., and Ryan, R. M. (2014) Competence-impeding electronic games and players' aggressive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Przybylski, A. (2014) Who believes electronic games cause real-world aggression? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Samoilenko, A. and Yasseri, T. (2014) The distorted mirror of Wikipedia: a quantitative analysis of Wikipedia coverage of academics. EPJ Data Science 3 (1).

Vasalou, A, Oostveen, A., Bowers, C., and Beale, R. (2014) Understanding Engagement With The Privacy Domain Through Design Research. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).


Teaching News

After last year's visit to Toronto, Canada, this year's Summer Doctoral Programme returns to Oxford for two weeks of intense study, socialising and possibly a spot of punting. If you are approaching the end of your doctoral studies and would like to test and hone your thesis, seriously consider applying. Don't miss the deadline: midday (GMT) on 24 February 2014.

The final application deadline for studying the OII's MSc in Social Science of the Internet in 2014/15 is also approaching. For a chance to study a fascinating and challenging course, make sure you apply by 14 March 2014! View our students' profiles to find out who studies here and the range of their interests and backgrounds.


Calls for Papers

ACM Web Science Conference 2014
Deadline: 23rd February 2014

IPP2014: Crowdsourcing for Politics and Policy
Deadline: 14th March 2014


Recent Webcasts

Post-2015 Development Agenda

Watch Richards Heeks explore the post-2015 development agenda and its implications.

Had Bell Invented Visualization...

Min Chen explores the challenges involved with establishing a theory of visualization.

View All Webcasts


Recent Press Coverage

Andrew Przybylski in The Times: Flappy
Bird ‘Evil genius’ rakes in £30,000 a day
(10 Feb)

Vili Lehdonvirta in the Metro US: Why was Flappy Bird so popular? (10 Feb)

Vili Lehdonvirta in the New Scientist: Bitcoin:
Problems already cloud the currency's future
(5 Feb)

Bernie Hogan in the Guardian: Facebook's 10th birthday: from college dorm to 1.23 billion users (4 Feb)

Ian Brown in BBC Technology: DotShabaka top-level internet domain goes live (3 Feb)

Rebecca Eynon on couriermail.com.au:
Clive Thompson says the digital age is making us smarter and the kids are still all right (31 Jan)

Ian Brown in BBC Technology: Shape-shifting software 'defends against botnet hacks (22 Jan)

Ian Brown on CBC Radio: Should internet users rally for a global bill of rights?
(20 Jan)

Vili Lehdonvirta in the Washington Post: Bitcoin just turned 5. And we have no idea who started it (3 Jan)

Taha Yasseri in the Daily Telegraph: The geeks who are directing Hollywood (2 Jan)

Viktor Mayer-Schonberger in the Times Higher Education: Big data’ could create ‘dystopian future’ for students (28 Dec)

Andrew Przybylski in the Daily Telegraph: Video games nastiest to those who have never played them – Oxford study (18 Dec)

View All News


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