Pandemic Tech – Annual LINCS Conference
The fourth annual LINCS Conference took place on 16th and 17th June 2021.
The conference welcomed presenters and attendees from all over the world to discuss how technology developments and trends have been impacted by the pandemic, and how the pandemic experience has been shaped by technology use.
Professor Rob Kitchin of Maynooth University launched the event on the 16th with a keynote presentation on ‘Civil liberties or public health, or civil liberties and public health? Using surveillance technologies to tackle the spread of COVID-19’. The rest of the afternoon saw a series of short presentations on ‘Accessing and Delivering Essential Services Online’ and ‘Working from Home: Security and Surveillance’.
The second day of the conference opened with Emily Cameron-Blake and Saptarshi Majumdar from the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, discussing their work on the Oxford Covid Government Response Tracker project with Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh. This was followed by short presentation sessions on ‘Social Media and Covid’ and ‘Digital Places, Spaces and Travelling in Lockdown’.
Lively discussions throughout the event delved into topics such as the increase in the use of surveillance technology during the pandemic, how online communities reacted to the pandemic and how the promise of technology often failed to live up to expectations. The event provided an opportunity to reflect on how the use of technology shaped our work and life experiences throughout the pandemic, what aspects of technology usage have been beneficial and what technology trends require further examination before becoming mainstream.
"As a mature student trying to find their place in the world of academia, in what has been a very unusual year, I was overjoyed to be given the opportunity to present my research at this year’s Annual LINCS Conference. It was insightful to be able to interact with like-minded colleagues, who are similarly interested in the ways in which technology has shaped, and continues to shape, our experience of the global pandemic."
Dean James McIntyre (The University of Manchester)
“What was most rewarding and fascinating, as always with LINCS, was the deep and nuanced understanding presenters had of both technical and social aspects of their research, ranging over the Pandemic to gaming communities. The obvious comfort and fluency researchers have in talking across fields is what makes LINCS research, and now LINAS, so important.” Dr Ciarán O'Kelly (School of Law)