Public Lecture: ‘Data Citizens and Data Organisms’, Thursday 9 June 2016

Eleven removable storage technologies

Data Citizens and Data Organisms’

Speaker: Prof Geoffrey C. Bowker, University of California, Irvine

Thursday, 9 June 2016, 17:00- 18:30

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, Room 309, Goldsmiths

Download the poster here

Public lecture organised by the ERC funded ARITHMUS project (, Department of Sociology. Please RSVP at


In this talk, I explore how the concept of selfhood can be enriched by considering ourselves as existing both inside of our own bodies and minds and within extended data networks.  Drawing examples from the quantified self-movement and big data analytics more generally, I argue that it is not just that data about us is being captured: we are partially constituted by that data. I then develop this analysis in terms of the new forms that ‘nature’ is taking within the world of biodiversity data.


Geoffrey C. Bowker is Professor at the School of Information and Computer Science, University of California at Irvine, where he directs the Evoke Laboratory, which explores new forms of knowledge expression.  Recent positions include Professor of and Senior Scholar in Cyberscholarship at the University of Pittsburgh iSchool and Executive Director, Center for Science, Technology and Society, Santa Clara.  Together with Leigh Star he wrote Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences; his most recent book is Memory Practices in the Sciences.  He is currently working on big data policy and on scientific cyberinfrastructure; as well as completing a book on social readings of data and databases.  He is a founding member of the Council for Big Data, Ethics and Society.

Header image by avaragado/Wikimedia Commons, license CC-BY-2.0.