Melanie Smallman is a lecturer in Science and Technology Studies at UCL and Co-Director of the UCL Hub for Responsible Research and Innovation. Melanie's research focuses on how responsibility and ethics is understood and enacted in research and how these issues affect public perceptions and social acceptance of technologies. Specifically, she is interested in the role of technologies in increasing inequality and how these wider social impacts can be taken account of within ethical frameworks.
Her research utilises large datasets and computational approaches to qualitative data analysis and she is interested in developing these techniques further. Previously, Melanie ran science policy communication consultancy Think-Lab and spent eight years as an adviser within the UK Government. She is a former Fellow in Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School for Government and has a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at UCL.
AI and data science offers huge opportunities, but also raises important issues around ethics, responsibility and social acceptability. There is also growing evidence that digital and data technologies are helping create growing economic inequalities. As a Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute and a member of the Data Ethics Group, Melanie Smallman's research will examine these issues, in particular looking at the role of AI and data science in growing inequalities and how these issues can be taken account of within ethical frameworks. At the same time, Melanie draws upon data science and computational approaches to qualitative data analysis for her research.
During her time at the Turing, Melanie also hopes to collaborate with data and computational scientists to develop computational and AI approaches to humanities and social research further