Skip to main content Skip to navigation

CIM News

Select tags to filter on

Digital methods as ‘experimental a priori’–how to navigate vague empirical situations as an operationalist pragmatist

Anders Koed Madsen (Aalborg University)

A seminar hosted by the Centre for interdisciplinary Methodologies (University of Warwick)

  • Tuesday May 9, 15:00-17:00,
  • Room: OC1.07 (and online)

Digitalisation and computation presents us with a vague empirical world that unsettles established links between measurements and values. As more and more actors use digital media to produce data about aspects of the world they deem important, new possibilities for inscribing their lives emerge. The practical work with digital methods thus often involves the production of social visibilities that are misfits in the context of established data practices. In this talk Anders Koed Madsen will argue that this friction carries the distinct critical potential to design data experiments that (a) uses the act of operationalisation as an engine for creating intersubjective situations around the meaning of existing concepts and (b) takes advantage of algorithmic techniques to provoke a reassessment of some of the core assumptions that shape the way we normally frame empirical problems. Drawing on the work of Kant, Peirce, Dewey and C.I. Lewis, Anders propose to think of this critical potential as the possibility to practice what he terms ’experimental a priori’.

In the second part of the talk, Anders uses qualitative vignettes from two years of data experiments with GEHL architects to illustrate what this entails in practice. His collaboration with the architects was sparked by a shared concern that cities are becoming political filter bubbles and the experiment consisted in using traces from Facebook to design an interactive datascape that enabled the architects to explore this issue in new ways. This datascapeended up as a troubling cartography that reconfigured existing problematizations. Faced with the task of using traces from Facebook as an empirical source, the architects found themselves in a need to revisit inherited assumptions about the ontology of urban space and the way it can even be formulated as a problem of diversity. The decision to work with digital methods thus created a form of productive friction that stimulated new problem spaces. Anders will end his talk by outlining five design principles that can potentially steer data sprints towards such situations in the future.

Anders Koed Madsen is associate professor at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, head of experimental practice at TANTLab and co-founder of The Public Data Lab. Both are institutional homes for researchers crossing STS and computational humanities. During the last five years he has developed ‘Soft City Sensing’ as a distinct framework for mapping and conceptualizing the social infrastructure of urban publics through the digital traces they leave of their urban life. This work draws on his distinct interdisciplinary background in pragmatist philosophy, computational humanities, internet studies and organizational analysis. Anders serves at editorial boards of - and have published extensively in - leading journals within computational humanities and urban cartography. He has authored books on valuation and cultural studies and is currently co-editing an international handbook of computational humanities. Anders directs the executive education in 'data-driven organizational development' and frequently gives presentations, also public ones, on topics relating to computational humanities, smart cities and digital citizen engagement.

The two papers that Anders will talk across can be found here:

If you are not affiliated with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies but would like to attend this seminar online, please email Kanisha Mathiarasan at by Friday May 4 2023, and she will email you the seminar link.

Thu 13 Apr 2023, 10:39 | Tags: marres, front-page-1

CIM Writing Retreat for Early Career Researchers

May was a particularly busy time at CIM with regular academic events, such as a Research Away Day or Grant Sprint. This year we also organised a Writing Retreat for Early Career Researchers (ECRs).

The retreat was a three-day log event where junior members of academic staff gathered to work simultaneously on their writing projects. On top of the packed agenda of writing sessions, the retreat was an opportunity to meet in person for the first time since Covid-19.

The group of ECRs at CIM includes Research and Teaching Fellows. The group was established to create a space for peer collaboration and interdisciplinary exchange, on top of daily research projects and teaching duties that ECRs are engaged within. The Writing Retreat was designed collaboratively, and the organisation was led by Dr Chiara Poletti and Dr Zofia Bednarowska-Michaiel, with a great support of professional staff at CIM. We implemented an open-ended form of collaboration for writing, peer-led discussion, and exchange so that the retreat can take place in an iterative way and in a collegial environment.

Image description/Alt-text:

CIM Early Career Researchers working on their writing projects. Author: Dr Daniele Pizio

New collection: Reactivating Elements: Chemistry, Ecology, Practice

Check out the collection Reactivating Elements: Chemistry, Ecology, Practice, co-edited by CIM member Maria Puig de la Bellacasa with colleagues Dimitris Papadopoulos and Natasha Myers, and published with Duke University Press, 2022

The contributors to Reactivating Elements examine chemicals as they mix with soil, air, water, and fire to shape Earth's troubled ecologies today. They invoke the elements with all their ambivalences as chemical categories, material substances, social forms, forces and energies, cosmological entities, and epistemic objects. Engaging with the nonlinear historical significance of elemental thought across fields—chemistry, the biosciences, engineering, physics, science and technology studies, the environmental humanities, ecocriticism, and cultural studies—the contributors examine the relationship between chemistry and ecology, probe the logics that render wind as energy, excavate affective histories of ubiquitous substances such as plastics and radioactive elements, and chart the damage wrought by petrochemical industrialization. Throughout, the volume illuminates how elements become entangled with power and control, coloniality, racism, and extractive productivism while exploring alternative paths to environmental destruction. In so doing, it rethinks the relationship between the elements and the elemental, human and more-than-human worlds, today’s damaged ecosystems and other ecologies to come

Fri 29 Apr 2022, 17:28 | Tags: front-page-1

Racial Attention Deficit

Racial minorities bring novel perspectives to the organizations in which they work. But what if White Americans are not paying attention to their Black colleagues? In an experiment involving more than 2,500 White working-age Americans, we show that Whites are less likely to follow the choices and learn from their Black peers. We further propose and test several measures to mitigate this racial attention deficit.

Mon 20 Sep 2021, 15:54 | Tags: David Stark, front-page-1

Research Assistant in Deep Learning image interpretation



The Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick is looking for a Research Assistant to support researchers investigating the relation between human perception of urban spaces and attributes extracted from street view images (i.e. from Google Street View)

The role holder will implement a deep learning image interpretation model based on existing Python libraries and models. You will also help developing an interface for online human assessment of the images. The role will enable its holder to interact with experienced researchers in the fields of psychology, architecture and urban science, thus contributing to the development of collaboration skills and an interdisciplinary profile.

This role is a six-month 20% FTE position with flexible working hours and location.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Develop Python code for image object detection and segmentation based on existing libraries and deep learning image interpretation models
  • Help establishing an online survey for the human assessment of street view images

Skills and experience

The role holder should have very good Python coding skills

  • A solid conceptual understanding of deep neural networks.
  • Data management skills are essential
  • Interest in urban science and experience in image processing are desirable.


  • A mixture of remote working and campus based work

Additional information

Start Date: 6th September for 6 months
Interview Date: 31st August
Advert Closure: 25th August

Link to apply: Unitemps - Research Assistant in Deep Learning Image Interpretation

Thu 05 Aug 2021, 10:31 | Tags: front-page-1

New chapter by Pablo Velasco González and Nathaniel Tkacz in the Handbook of Peer Production

Click here, to find out more about the new chapter by Pablo Velasco González and Nathaniel Tkacz in the Handbook of Peer Production

Exploring COVID-19 App Ecologies: An Introduction to Multi-Situated App Studies

As part of ongoing research into COVID-19 App Store and Dataflows Ecologies, CIM researchers Michael Dieter and Nate Tkacz will deliver a talk and workshop for SummerPIT 2020 with the University of Aarhus.

As an introduction to methods for studying the design of apps and overview of ongoing critical research into apps developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CIM researchers Michael Dieter and Nate Tkacz will deliver a talk and workshop as part the forthcoming Participatory Information Technology Centre (PIT) Summer School organized at the University of Aarhus.

The PIT Centre extends the Scandinavian participatory design tradition, which has historically focused on involving people in the introduction of technology to their workplaces. However, during the recent decades, information technology has become an integrated element of almost all parts of people’s everyday lives, including leisure, civic activity, art, and culture, thereby establishing new forms of participation and social practices. The pervasiveness of information technology in human life poses new challenges for the way participation occurs, is supported, and understood.

Accordingly, PIT poses the fundamental question of what participation currently means, and how it may be supported by IT, today and in the future.

Taking place on August 17-18 in a virtual setting, SummerPIT 2020 will bring together international researchers from across PIT-related research areas, local researchers, and PhD students to reflect on and discuss software-based and participatory responses to the COVID-19 crisis.

Online registration here:

Fri 10 Jul 2020, 13:42 | Tags: front-page-1

New ESRC-Funded CIM Project on COVID-19 Apps

We are pleased to announce a new CIM project investigating the emerging ecology of COVID-19 apps using digital methods research. Funded by a COVID-19 rapid response grant from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the project will consider not only widely discussed issues around apps for digital contact tracing, but the wider ecologies of apps around the world that have been developed to manage and intervene in the crisis:
COVID-19 App Store and Data Flow Ecologies will run for 6 months and involves a European team of investigators and researchers attached to the Apps Studies Initiative:
Mon 22 Jun 2020, 12:28 | Tags: front-page-1

Open Research: Risks and Opportunities?

A discussion about the hopes and challenges for Open Knowledge with Sarah de Rijcke and Ludo Waltman, co-authors of the Leiden Manifesto, and University of Warwick scientists and scholars from across the Faculties.

Audio recording available here

Recorded on February 5 2020


What could be the role of scholars and scientists in exploring and nurturing the partly unknown futures of “open research”? Openness is today promoted and implemented across diverse knowledge spheres as a transformative ideal, from academic publishing to research evaluation and engaged approaches in humanities scholarship. It should therefore not surprise us that understandings of what is at stake in the advancement of open research diverge widely, between the sciences and humanities, fundamental and applied research, and between different types of knowledge organisations (academic departments, research libraries, scientific journals). But"open research” may also enable new, still under-explored, connections that cut across these boundaries, as it invites experimentation with data tools, archival materials, publishing formats and citizen engagement.


This round table generated a wide-ranging discussion about the varied opportunities and risks of “open science” with two influential scholars and advocates of open research, prof Sarah de Rijcke and prof Ludo Waltman of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (University of Leiden), both authors of The Leiden Manifesto. Profs De Rijcke and Waltman will enter into conversation with leading Warwick scientists and scholars from different faculties: prof Robin Ball (Physics), Robin Green and Yvonne Budden (Warwick Library) and prof Sarah Richardson(History). Prof Noortje Marres (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies) will act as moderator of the discussion.

This discussion was recorded on 5 February 2020, during a Round table event hosted by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick

Fri 05 Jun 2020, 14:41 | Tags: front-page-1

CIM is hiring! Applications are invited for a Assistant Professor.

Assistant Professor (102864-0320)

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM) at the University of Warwick is looking to appoint a permanent Assistant Professor with a record of internationally recognised research, and a strong track record in the design and delivery of teaching. We are interested in applications from scholars positioned anywhere on the interdisciplinary spectrum, ranging from arts and humanities, to social sciences, computer science, information, environmental and natural sciences.

Please find more information here

Application deadline: 5 April 2020

If you have any queries, please email prof. Noortje Marres (CIM Director) at

Mon 16 Mar 2020, 15:22 | Tags: front-page-1

Older news