Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Brit Ross Winthereik

Professor Brit Ross Winthereik will give her inaugural professorial lecture ‘Seeing through infrastructure: Ethnographies of health IT, development aid, energy, and data’ on Friday, March 23, 2018 from 2-3pm.

In this lecture, Brit Ross Winthereik places her research on IT infrastructures in the context of Science and Technology Studies, arguing for the value of using ethnographic methods and situated analytics.

Drawing on her own research conducted in different empirical domains, she will begin with some ethnographic stories. Juxtaposing IT infrastructures in different field-sites brings IT as an actor into view. As an actor in society, IT has transformed and continues to transform social practices and societal institutions, and through such transformations, it is generative too of shifts in data practices and in data as such.

So how to study of something as dynamic, elusive and transformative as IT? How can we see through IT infrastructures so as to ask about the sorts of data they predispose us towards, and ask too about the worlds such data brings with it?

The lecture will suggest that not only do we need to value the work and creativity of those who make or use the infrastructures, but we also need to see through some of the claims that are made about what IT infrastructures can do to help society, or indeed to harm us.


Brit Ross Winthereik is PhD in Science & Technology Studies from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She has worked at the University of Copenhagen, DTU and CBS before joining the IT University of Copenhagen as an Associate Professor in 2008. She has been visiting researcher at the University of Melbourne and the University of California Davis.

At ITU, she is coordinator of the research group Technologies in Practice. She is leading the VELUX-supported research project Data as Relation on data as a tool for public governance (with Associate Professor Christopher Gad). She has previously led the project Marine Renewable Energy as Alien: Social Studies of an Emerging Industry, supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research.

She is co-founder of the Danish Association for Science and Technology Studies and initiator of ETHOS Lab at ITU, where students and researchers experiment with data visualization and analysis.