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The Mission of CCSR

"To undertake research and provide teaching, consultancy and advice to individuals, communities, organisations and governments at local, national and international levels on the actual and potential impacts of computing and related technologies on society and its citizens."

Aims and Objetives

Aim 1: To provide national and international leadership for research on Computing and Social Responsibility.

  • Lead and contribute to theoretical and empirical developments by conducting interdisciplinary and collaborative research in the field of Computing and Social Responsibility..
  • Publish research findings in appropriate high quality outlets.
  • Support the academic community through a range of activities such as editorial service, organisations of conferences, seminars and other events.
  • Provide resources for researchers in Computing and Social Responsibility.
  • Lead and participate in international discourses on Computing and Social Responsibility through appropriate activities such as contribution to networks or hosting of scholars.

Aim 2: To inform and educate society about issues of Computing and Social Responsibility.

  • Deliver a curriculum for Computing and Social Responsibility for the University and associated institutions.
  • Promote research degrees in the field by developing the Information Society Doctoral Programme.
  • Provide education and information using a variety of media and modes of study.
  • Advise other education providers on Computing and Social Responsibility matters.  

Aim 3: To provide a consultancy and advisory service on Computing and Social Responsibility.

  • Act as a source of advice for policy makers, industry and IT professionals.
  • Undertake consultancy and contract research activities on topics related to Computing and Social Responsibility.
  • Respond to consultation documents and write reports on topics related to Computing and Social Responsibility.   

Areas of Interest and Activity

The activities of the CCSR cover all aspects related to information, communication and technology and the social and ethical impact these can have. The activities can be categorised in the following areas:

Concepts

The field of Computing and Social Responsibility touches on numerous established disciplines including philosophy, computing, sociology and information systems. This interdisciplinary nature of the field necessitates extensive conceptual work to facilitate understanding between different disciplines and develop theoretical foundations to conceptualise and describe relevant phenomena. Work undertaken in the CCSR in this area includes:

  • Theoretical developments including the contribution of critical theory and the capability approach to Computing and Social Responsibility.
  • Engagement with core concepts of the field and critical contribution to their development. Examples of work in this area include work on privacy, information ethics or sustainability.

Social Impact

A core area of activity of the CCSR is in the area of social impact of information, communication and technology. This covers a wide range of uses of ICT in areas such as:

  • Education
  • Remote activities (e.g. telework)
  • Government / democracy
  • Virtuality
  • Healthcare / health informatics
  • ICT for development

Many of these activities on social impact can be categorised as technology assessment. Specific areas of interest are:

  • Emerging ICTs and their ethical consequences
  • Environmental impact of ICT and green ICT

Professional Practice

Information, communication and technology pervade numerous professional fields and practices. CCSR activities in this area include:

  • Engagement with and support of professional bodies in the field of computing, e.g. the BCS or ACM.
  • Work on a range of topics and issues of relevance to computing and ICT profession such as:
  • IT services
  • Information systems development and evaluation
  • Exploration and development of ethically sensitive ICT governance arrangements

The Growing Need for CCSR

The technological advances in computing and information technology continue to accelerate, such that society, its citizens and organisations are being subjected to a growing range of impacts, some of which can have detrimental effects.

Often, a reliance on technology can increase the vulnerability of the weaker and poorer members of society and, what is more, can even determine membership of these groups. Nonetheless, there are many benefits to be gained through the sensitive design and application of the technology, the key to which is being aware of the potential pitfalls and avoiding them.

Internationally, there is a growing awareness that technology must be applied sensitively.

The Centre, as part of an international community dedicated to the advancement of work in this area, provides a focus for undertaking activities relating to national and international issues.

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