I’m a researcher and writer whose interests spiral around data and artificial intelligence, bodies, health and culture. I work in the areas where these themes meet; researching bioinformaticians’ workflows and practice in order to design new tools for genetics research, researching public opinion on the commercialisation of health data for the Wellcome Trust, exploring the ethical and regulatory frame of artificial intelligence in government decisions, writing stories as part of a plausible, optimistic future of the NHS, writing and editing a collection of stories and essays which explored a post-antibiotic apocalypse.
I enjoy unpacking issues that appear invisible and intractable, and produce varied materials depending on a project’s needs. One research project with an interdisciplinary synthetic biology team developed into a series of fictions and speculative designs which they used as prompts to navigate disciplinary and departmental divides, an academic research paper and eventually a TEDx talk.
I spend part of the week in Nesta’s Collective Intelligence team, collaborating extensively with the Technology Futures department and the Health lab. I’ve consulted for the Wellcome Trust, Ipsos Mori and the BBC, the Cabinet Office’s Big Data Ethics board and the Science Museum’s Big Data exhibit. I have written about modelling futures for The Guardian and the politics of digital materialities for Material World. Previously I have worked for Science Practice. While pursuing an MSc in Digital Anthropology at UCL I presented papers at national and international conferences, co-founded and wrote the manifesto for the Future Anthropologies Network.
Let’s talk: hi at lydianicholas.com / @lydnicholas