Alistair Duff

Alistair Duff

Prof Alistair Duff PhD

Professor

Biography

Alistair Duff is professor of information policy in the School of Arts and Creative Industries. His research contributes also to the Centre for Social Informatics.

Duff is principal investigator on an AHRC-funded project, Informing the Good Society (InGSoc): New Directions in Information Policy. (www.informingthegoodsociety.com)

He was a 2006/7 visiting fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Duff has also been a visiting lecturer at the Global Information Society Studies media summer school, University of Zurich.

Duff is interested in topics relating to the role of information in society, including: information policy; technocracy; digital divides; politics of information; teledemocracy; media ownership; FoI; privacy and surveillance; copyright; political punditry and 'e'punditry; population census; information and media ethics; sociology of information; cyberspace; Bell, Lippmann, Habermas, Rawls, Williams, Ellul, Tawney, Castells, etc.
He has served as external examiner at City University and the Lincoln School of Journalism, and is currently MA Journalism examiner at Nottingham Trent University.
Duff is currently module leader for Information, Communication and Society (year 3), Power, Information and Opinion (y4 honours) and Journalism, Information and Society (MA/MSc), and inputs to other modules. He was a Napier Teaching Fellow from 2003-2008.

RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS include:
Walter Lippmann, in The Encyclopedia of Social Theory, (Wiley), in press
Information society, in Elsevier Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd ed., 2015, in press
Cyber-Green: idealism in the information age, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 13(2) 2015, pp. 146-164
Needing NoDI (normal democratic information)? The problem of information poverty in post-industrial society, Information, Communication and Society 18(1) 2015, pp. 63-77

Information, in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, vol. 4(Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), pp. 1833–1834

Pundit for post-industrial times? Walter Lippmann as an information society theorist, Information, Communication and Society 16(6) 2013, pp. 967-988

A Normative Theory of the Information Society (Routledge Research Monographs, 2012)

The Rawls-Tawney theorem and the digital divide in post-industrial society, Journal of the American Society for Information Science 62(3) 2011, pp. 604-612

The age of access? Information policy and social progress, in R. Negrine, ed., Communications Policy: Theories and Issues (Palgrave, 2010), pp. 49-64

Daniel Bell's theory of the information society, in B. Smart, ed., Post-Industrial Society Vol. 3 (Sage, 2010), pp. 201-232






The information society, Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication (Sage, 2010), pp. 397-400

Rethinking the digital divide: from philanthropy to isonomia, in Proceedings of the International Conference New Media and Information: Convergences and Divergences, Panteion University, Athens, 2009 (ISBN 978-960-6746-05-5)

The European information society: scholarly and official perspectives, Journal of the Japan Society of Information and Communication Research 26(3) 2008, pp. 29-31

Information liberation? The relations of freedom and knowledge in social-democratic thought, in Nico Stehr (ed.) Knowledge and Democracy: a 21st Century Perspective (Transaction Publishers, 2008), pp. 199-215.

Documentation and utopia: Fabian anticipations of the information society, in B. Rayward, ed. European Modernism and the Information Society (Ashgate, 2008), pp. 185-199

Powers in the land? British political columnists in the information era, Journalism Practice 2(2) 2008, pp. 231-245. 
The normative crisis of the information society, Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace 2(1) 2008, article 3 
R. H. Tawney, Macmillan International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd ed., vol. 8 (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008), pp. 271-272
Neo-Rawlsian co-ordinates: notes on a theory of justice for the information age, International Review of Information Ethics 6 (12/2006), pp. 17-22 
Social engineering in the information age, The Information Society 21(1) 2005, pp. 1-5
The sickness of an information society: R.H. Tawney and the post-industrial condition, Information, Communication and Society 7(3) 2004, pp. 433-452
The past, present, and future of information policy: towards a normative theory of the information society, Information, Communication and Society 7(1) 2004, 69-87
On the present state of information society studies, Education for Information 19(3) 2001, pp. 231-244
Information Society Studies. London: Routledge, 2000

Events

Esteem

Invited Speaker

  • 6th Annual Freedom of Information Conference: Extending the Right to Information, Holyrood Magazine Events, December 2008
  • 3rd Annual Freedom of Information Conference: FOI One Year On, Holyrood Magazine Events, Edinburgh, December 2005
  • 3rd International ICTs-and-Society Network Conference, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, June 2010
  • ‘2001: an information society? The status of information society studies in the information science curriculum’, The Future of Library and Information Studies Education, British-Nordic BAILER Conference, University College Dublin, March 2001
  • ‘Achtung informatization! The information society and its problems’, Inaugural Professorial Lecture, Edinburgh Napier University, March 2014
  • ‘Social welfare aspects of information with special reference to news’, International Association for Development of the Information Society, Conference on E-Society, Lisbon, Portugal, June 2003
  • ‘Social engineering as a mode of information and communication policy’, Oxford Internet Institute Symposium on ‘Information, Communication, Society’, Balliol College, University of Oxford, September 2003
  • Social democracy and information media policy’, The Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century Annual Symposium, University of Memphis, Tennessee, October 2001
  • ‘Social democracy and information media policy’, School of Information and Media, Robert Gordon University, November 2001
  • Alistair Duff Keynote at I-Society 2014
  • Alistair Duff invited to keynote EuroIA 2016
  • Association for Journalism Education Conference: Researching Journalism, Birmingham City University, January 2009
  • Association for Journalism Education Workshop, Lincoln University, February 2004
  • ‘Programming the good life’, The Good Life in a Technological Age, University of Twente, Enschede, Holland, June 2008
  • ‘Rethinking the digital divide: from philanthropy to isonomia’, New Media and Information: Convergences and Divergences, International Conference, Panteion University, Athens, May 2009
  • ‘Reluctant recruit: Daniel Bell as an information society theorist’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, June 1997
  • PMPC research profile’, Conference of the Scottish Communication and Media Association, Napier University, October 2000
  • Exploring CyberSociety International Conference, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, July 1999
  • ‘Ethical messages: R. H. Tawney confronts the information age’, Institute of Communication Ethics annual conference on ‘The Information Age: New Anxieties, New Opportunities’, University of Lincoln School of Media and Humanities, June 2004 (joint presenta
  • Electronic Publishing Conference, Centre for English Studies, University of London, January 1997
  • ELVIRA Third International Conference (Electronic Library and Visual Information Research Association), Milton Keynes, May 1996
  • Floor Speaker, Oxford Union, emergency debate on Scottish independence
  • ‘For a new nanny state: the role of national information services in post-industrial societies’, The Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century Annual Symposium, University of Memphis, Tennessee, October 2002
  • ‘Fritz Machlup: intrepid pioneer of the information society’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, January 1997
  • ‘From MEDLARS to micros: the story of library informatisation’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, March 1999
  • ‘Futures studies and information society studies’, Futures Workshop, Napier University, September 2002
  • “Mere brotherhood”: religious socialism @ network society’, 5th ICTs-and-Society International Conference: Information Society at the Crossroads, Vienna, June 2015
  • ‘Models of the information chain: electronic publishing and the advancement of learning’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, December 1996
  • ‘Mission impossible? Building a normative theory of the information society’, Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University, May 2010
  • ‘Opening Address I. The field of information society studies II. The politics of information’, University of Zurich Department of Mass Communication and Media Research Centre for Studies of the Global Information Society, Summer School on New Media in the
  • ‘On the present state of information society studies’, Keynote Address at The Information Society Symposium: Teaching the Information Society, Napier University, May 2001
  • ‘On the present and future state of information society studies’, Napier University Psychology and Sociology Department Research Seminar, November 1999
  • Keystones for the Information Age: British Library Information Policy Conference, London, March 2000
  • Knowledge Management in the Age of Networks, Edinburgh Centre for Social Informatics, Napier University, October 2000
  • Keynote Speaker, euroia2016, Amsterdam
  • ‘Key principles of the good information society’, 13th IADIS (International Association for Development of the Information Society) International Conference on e-Society, Madeira, Portugal, March 2015
  • ‘Laying a foundation of fact: the Fabian story and the information society’, Symposium on European Modernism and the Information Society, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2005
  • Invited Speaker, St Andrews Union Debating Society, debate on new media
  • ‘Johoka shakai: Japanese research on the information society’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, March 1997
  • ‘The good information society’, International Conference on the Information Society, Marriott Hotel, London Heathrow, November 2014 (conference opening invited keynote address)
  • ‘Teaching freedom of information in Scotland’, Association for Journalism Education Seminar, University of Sunderland, June 2005
  • ‘The preferential option for the (information) poor in digital societies’, Critique, Democracy and Philosophy in 21st Century Information Society: Towards Critical Theories of Social Media: 4th International ICTs-and-Society Network Conference, Universit
  • ‘The normative crisis of the information society’, Cyberspace 2007, 5th Annual Conference, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, December 2007
  • ‘The information society: research on social aspects of information provision’, Workshop to Inform British Library Research Priorities, British Library, London, June 2007
  • ‘The great information society debate’, School of Information, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, November 2011
  • ‘The European information society’, 25th Anniversary Conference of the Japan Society of Information and Communication Research, Tokyo, Japan, November 2008
  • The Future for Scholarly Publication, Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries, University of Stirling, February 1996
  • ‘The age of access? Developing a normative theory of the information society’, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, January 2007
  • ‘Winning research grants’, Lecture to School of Arts and Creative Industries staff, March 2015
  • Charting the Future: Broadcasting in and for Scotland, VLV, Edinburgh, October 2004
  • ‘Communication rules: frameworks for information policy in Scotland and Europe’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, May 2000 (with R. Beveridge)
  • Countdown to Freedom of Information Conference, Scottish Executive, Edinburgh, November 2003
  • ‘Informatisation: the four electronic dispensations’, Aspects of Modern Librarianship, 1877-2002, Library Association, London, March 2002
  • ‘Information liberation? The dialectic of knowledge and freedom in social-democratic thought’, Worlds of Knowledge and Democracy: International Conference at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Humanities, Essen, Germany, April 2006
  • ‘Information and society in the writings of Daniel Bell’, Information and Society Seminar, Leeds Metropolitan University, April 2001
  • Inspecting the bad society? Bentham’s panopticon revisited, 2nd Asian Conference on Technology, Information and Society (ACTIS), Kobe, Japan, November 2015
  • ‘Human liberty in the information society: Greenian idealism and the new socio-technical reality’, Conference on Applied Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, November 2013
  • Broadcasting and Democracy, Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV), Edinburgh, December 2003

 

Media Activity

  • ‘21st century pilgrim’, Silicon Valley travel article, The Scotsman (Weekend Life Saturday magazine), 14 March 2015
  • Talk 107 Interview on Google Cameras Controversy
  • Silicon Valley Article in The Scotsman
  • Social democracy and the future’, The Common Good, 191(summer) 2005, p. 13
  • Sunday Herald Feature on Cyberbullying
  • Alistair Duff gives radio interview on Good Morning Scotland
  • Presenter, opinion programme, community radio station, January-April 2007 (7 shows), May-August 2012 (11 shows)
  • ‘Entitled to their own opinion: contemporary political columnists’, The Independent, 17 July 2006
  • ‘ePunditry’, Radio Scotland, interview, 13 February 2013
  • Newsnight Scotland Interview - Alistair Duff
  • ‘Is electronic punditry the future and should we welcome it?’, AllMediaScotland, 22 February 2013 (online)
  • Scotland on Sunday Article
  • Scotsman Op-Ed Column on Future of Privacy
  • ‘Third degree’ (interview), Cumbernauld News, 18 September 2014
  • ‘Time to close curtains on big brother’, The Scotsman, 28 March 2014
  • ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Talk 107, live radio interview, 16 April 2006
  • ‘The future of the press’, Newsnight Scotland, interview, 26 February 2014
  • The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Bill’, member of BBC Radio Scotland expert panel on FoI, live broadcast on Lesley Riddoch show, 23 April 2002
  • ‘The census controversy’, Reporting Scotland (TV) and Radio Scotland, interviews, 21 March 2011
  • ‘Why I am refusing to cooperate with the census’, Ethical Census News, 29 March 2011 (online)
  • ‘CCTV’, Talk 107, live radio interview, 1 June 2008
  • Census Controversy: Alistair Duff Interviewed on TV & Radio
  • Dr Alistair Duff Speaks in Digital Media Debate at St Andrews Union Debating Society
  • ‘Cyberbullying’, Reporting Scotland and Radio Scotland, interviews, 26 October 2010
  • 'Cyberbullying': SACI Reader Alistair Duff Interviewed on Radio Scotland and Reporting Scotland
  • Information Today Europe discusses the InGSoc project in the context of "digital first" news
  • 'Information is Key to New Revolution': Dr Alistair Duff interviewed by Evening News, op-ed page.
  • Professor interviewed by The Atlantic.com

 

External Examining/Validations

  • A. Adeloye, ‘Development of an Information Society in Africa: a Study of the Information Economy in Nigeria and South Africa’, City University, 2008
  • Taught degrees provision, Manchester Metropolitan University, Dept of Information and Communications, 2011
  • BA Journalism, Lincoln School of Journalism, University of Lincoln, 2007-2011
  • BA Library and Information Management, Glyndwr University, 2013
  • MSc Information, Communication and Society, City University, 2009
  • MSc Information, Communication and Society, City University, 2009-2012
  • P. Gamage, ‘Does “E-Sri Lanka” Bridge Digital Inequalities? A Grounded Theory Analysis of the 1000 Telecentre Programme’, Leeds Metropolitan University, 2012
  • C. Seymour, ‘Cultural Autonomy in the Global Information Society: the Case of Israel’, University of Brighton, 2002
  • MA Journalism programmes, Nottingham Trent University, 2014-2018
  • MA and MSc Information Science, UCL, 2014
  • BSc Communication, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, 2002

 

Advisory panels and expert committees/witness

  • Accreditation Team, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
  • Chairman, public debate on invasion of Iraq organised by Napier Journalists’
  • Chairman, ‘Library Schools.com: the Future of the Library Schools?’, Meeting of the University, College and Research Section of the Library Association
  • Committee Member, Institute of Information Scientists (Scottish Branch)

 

Conference Activity

  • Advisory Panel, The Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century, 2003
  • Afternoon Parallel Session, eSociety 2015 Conference, Madeira, March 2015
  • Morning Parallel Session: Interdisciplinary Topics, 2nd Asian Conference on Technology, Information and Society (ACTIS), Kobe, Japan, November 2015
  • The Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century Annual Symposium, University of Memphis, Tennessee, October 2002, final afternoon session including Open Discussion
  • Informing the Good Society Public Seminar series, 2013-2016

 

Conference/Workshop

  • Afternoon Parallel Session, Napier Staff Conference, June 2006

 

Seminar/talk

  • Speaker, University Debate on Research-Teaching Linkage, Napier University
  • ‘Bibliometric research’, PMPC Research Methodology Seminar, June 1995
  • ‘PMPC research on electronic publishing and the information society’, Napier University Forum on Information Science and Management, December 1994
  • ‘New communications media: the evolving European information society’, Alliances and Alignments: Communication in the New Europe, Two-Day Workshop, Scottish Communication Association, Napier University, November 1995
  • ‘The information chain as a conceptual framework for publishing education’, International Association for Publishing Education Symposium, Napier University, July 1995
  • ‘The experience of the researcher’, Napier University Faculty of Applied Arts Research Seminar, February 1995

 

Research Degree External Examining

  • Appointed as external expert for programmes provision validation, Department of Information & Communication, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Alistair Duff serves as external PhD examiner at Leeds Metropolitan University

 

Fellowships and Awards

  • AHRC-Funded Paper Wins Award
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • William Glanville Philosophy Prize, King’s College London
  • Dawson Award for MSc dissertation, University of Strathclyde

 

Reviewing

  • Arts and Humanities Research Board/Council, 03-05
  • Independent Social Research Foundation, 2014
  • Information, Communication and Society; The Information Society; Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism; Journalism Studies; Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology; Kybernetes. Routledge; Wiley-Blackwell; The MIT Press
  • Interdisciplinary grants referee ENU, 13-14

 

External Visitor

  • Organiser of Dr Brian Lang’s inaugural lecture as visiting professor at Napier University
  • Organiser of Professor Daniel Bell’s visit to Napier University for his honorary

 

Editorial Activity

  • Keio Communication Review
  • Teaching the information society, Special (Conference) Issue of Education for Information 19(3) 2001
  • Dr Alistair Duff joins editorial board of Keio Communication Review.
  • Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace
  • Alistair Duff invited onto editorial board of Library Trends

 

Current Post Grad projects

Previous Post Grad projects