Alistair Duff

Alistair Duff

Prof Alistair Duff PhD

  

Biography

Alistair Duff is professor of information policy in the School of Arts and Creative Industries. His special interests include: information society, network society, privacy, surveillance, access to information, FOI, digital divides, information inequality, social justice, societal impact of information technology, post-industrialism, future of media, copyright, population census, media policy, opinion journalism, and ePunditry. Authors of special interest include Daniel Bell, Walter Lippmann, Jurgen Habermas and R.H. Tawney.

I WELCOME PHD STUDENTS IN ANY OF THESE AREAS, OR RELATED AREAS/AUTHORS

Duff has supplied commentary and interviews on a range of information/technology issues on platforms including Newsnight, Good Morning Scotland, Scotland Tonight, Reporting Scotland, The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, AllMediaScotland, The Independent, The Ferret, the Sunday Express, Radio Sputnik and The Atlantic.com.

Duff's most recent (May 2013- Feb 2017) major project was the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded, 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, and a 2001 summer-school lecturer at the University of Zurich.

He has served as external examiner for programmes at City University, Lincoln School of Journalism, and Nottingham Trent University.

Duff is currently module leader on several information modules, as well as a dissertation supervisor at honours, master's and doctoral levels.

Recent and forthcoming RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS include:

Research Handbook on Information Policy (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021)

Privacy fundamentalism: an essay on social responsibility, Journal of Information Ethics (2020)

Computopia revisited: Yoneji Masuda's realistic utopianism, Keio Communication Review 42 [with Youichi Ito]

On political ePunditry, Journalism Studies (2018)

Walter Lippmann, in The Encyclopedia of Social Theory (Wiley, 2017)

Contra Bentham: ethical information policy in the PanopticEon, Journal of Information Ethics (2017)

The fellowship of the net, International Journal of Public Theology (2017)

Rating the revolution: Silicon Valley in normative perspective, Information, Communication and Society (2016)

Information society, in Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd ed. (Elsevier, 2015)

Cyber-Green: idealism in the information age, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society (2015)

Needing NoDI (normal democratic information)? The problem of information poverty in post-industrial society, Information, Communication and Society (2015)

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

Pundit for post-industrial times? Walter Lippmann as an information society theorist, Information, Communication and Society (2013)

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 and Technology (2011)

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

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

News

Events

Esteem

Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

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

 

Conference Organising Activity

  • 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
  • Afternoon Parallel Session, eSociety 2015 Conference, Madeira, March 2015
  • Informing the Good Society Public Seminar series, 2013-2016
  • Advisory Panel, The Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century, 2003

 

Conference/Workshop

  • Afternoon Parallel Session, Napier Staff Conference, June 2006

 

Editorial Activity

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

 

External Examining/Validations

  • BSc Communication, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, 2002
  • MSc Information, Communication and Society, City University, 2009
  • Taught degrees provision, Manchester Metropolitan University, Dept of Information and Communications, 2011
  • MA Journalism programmes, Nottingham Trent University, 2014-2018
  • MA and MSc Information Science, UCL, 2014
  • BA Journalism, Lincoln School of Journalism, University of Lincoln, 2007-2011
  • MSc Information, Communication and Society, City University, 2009-2012
  • BA Library and Information Management, Glyndwr University, 2013
  • P. Gamage, ‘Does “E-Sri Lanka” Bridge Digital Inequalities? A Grounded Theory Analysis of the 1000 Telecentre Programme’, Leeds Metropolitan University, 2012

 

External Visitor

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

 

Fellowships and Awards

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

 

Grant Reviewer

  • Arts and Humanities Research Board/Council, 03-05

 

Invited Speaker

  • Alistair Duff invited to keynote EuroIA 2016
  • ‘Communication rules: frameworks for information policy in Scotland and Europe’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, May 2000 (with R. Beveridge)
  • ‘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
  • ‘The age of access? Developing a normative theory of the information society’, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, January 2007
  • Keynote Speaker, euroia2016, Amsterdam
  • ‘The information society: research on social aspects of information provision’, Workshop to Inform British Library Research Priorities, British Library, London, June 2007
  • ‘Achtung informatization! The information society and its problems’, Inaugural Professorial Lecture, Edinburgh Napier University, March 2014
  • Alistair Duff Keynote at I-Society 2014
  • Association for Journalism Education Workshop, Lincoln University, February 2004
  • ‘Futures studies and information society studies’, Futures Workshop, Napier University, September 2002
  • ‘Programming the good life’, The Good Life in a Technological Age, University of Twente, Enschede, Holland, June 2008
  • Charting the Future: Broadcasting in and for Scotland, VLV, Edinburgh, October 2004
  • ‘On the present state of information society studies’, Keynote Address at The Information Society Symposium: Teaching the Information Society, Napier University, May 2001
  • 6th Annual Freedom of Information Conference: Extending the Right to Information, Holyrood Magazine Events, December 2008
  • ‘Teaching freedom of information in Scotland’, Association for Journalism Education Seminar, University of Sunderland, June 2005
  • Exploring CyberSociety International Conference, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, July 1999
  • Invited Speaker, St Andrews Union Debating Society, debate on new media
  • ‘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
  • 3rd International ICTs-and-Society Network Conference, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, June 2010
  • ‘Social democracy and information media policy’, School of Information and Media, Robert Gordon University, November 2001
  • ‘From MEDLARS to micros: the story of library informatisation’, PMPC Information Society Seminar, March 1999
  • ‘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
  • Floor Speaker, Oxford Union, emergency debate on Scottish independence
  • ‘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
  • ‘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
  • Social democracy and information media policy’, The Ethics of Electronic Information in the 21st Century Annual Symposium, University of Memphis, Tennessee, October 2001
  • Knowledge Management in the Age of Networks, Edinburgh Centre for Social Informatics, Napier University, October 2000
  • ‘Mission impossible? Building a normative theory of the information society’, Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University, May 2010
  • ‘Rethinking the digital divide: from philanthropy to isonomia’, New Media and Information: Convergences and Divergences, International Conference, Panteion University, Athens, May 2009
  • Association for Journalism Education Conference: Researching Journalism, Birmingham City University, January 2009
  • ‘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
  • Countdown to Freedom of Information Conference, Scottish Executive, Edinburgh, November 2003
  • ‘Winning research grants’, Lecture to School of Arts and Creative Industries staff, March 2015
  • ‘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
  • ‘Information and society in the writings of Daniel Bell’, Information and Society Seminar, Leeds Metropolitan University, April 2001
  • ‘Informatisation: the four electronic dispensations’, Aspects of Modern Librarianship, 1877-2002, Library Association, London, March 2002
  • ‘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
  • ‘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
  • ‘The great information society debate’, School of Information, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, November 2011
  • ‘The normative crisis of the information society’, Cyberspace 2007, 5th Annual Conference, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, December 2007
  • “Mere brotherhood”: religious socialism @ network society’, 5th ICTs-and-Society International Conference: Information Society at the Crossroads, Vienna, June 2015
  • ‘The European information society’, 25th Anniversary Conference of the Japan Society of Information and Communication Research, Tokyo, Japan, November 2008
  • ‘The good information society’, International Conference on the Information Society, Marriott Hotel, London Heathrow, November 2014 (conference opening invited keynote address)
  • ‘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
  • ‘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
  • Inspecting the bad society? Bentham’s panopticon revisited, 2nd Asian Conference on Technology, Information and Society (ACTIS), Kobe, Japan, November 2015
  • PMPC research profile’, Conference of the Scottish Communication and Media Association, Napier University, October 2000
  • 3rd Annual Freedom of Information Conference: FOI One Year On, Holyrood Magazine Events, Edinburgh, December 2005
  • Keystones for the Information Age: British Library Information Policy Conference, London, March 2000

 

Media Activity

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

 

Research Degree External Examining

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

 

Reviewing

  • 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

 

Seminar/talk

  • Speaker, University Debate on Research-Teaching Linkage, Napier University
  • ‘Bibliometric research’, PMPC Research Methodology Seminar, June 1995

 

Date


83 results

Castells versus Bell: A comparison of two grand theorists of the information age

Journal Article
Duff, A. S. (in press)
Castells versus Bell: A comparison of two grand theorists of the information age. European Journal of Social Theory, https://doi.org/10.1177/13684310221099695
Daniel Bell (1919–2011) and Manuel Castells (1942–) are the grand theorists of the information age. The article provides a detailed, up-to-date, comparative analysis of their ...

Privacy Fundamentalism: An Essay on Social Responsibility

Journal Article
Duff, A. S. (2020)
Privacy Fundamentalism: An Essay on Social Responsibility. Journal of Information Ethics, 29(1), 13-29
No abstract available.

Computopia Revisited: Yoneji Masuda’s Realistic Utopianism

Journal Article
Duff, A., & Ito, Y. (2020)
Computopia Revisited: Yoneji Masuda’s Realistic Utopianism. Keio communication review, 42(3), 53-74
Utopianism has always had a bad press. The whole genre, not least classics such as Thomas More’s Utopia (More, 1516), Robert Owen’s New View of Society (Owen, 1813), and Willi...

Using a longitudinal focus group methodology to measure the value and impact of public libraries

Conference Proceeding
Appleton, L., Duff, A. S., Hall, H., & Raeside, R. (2019)
Using a longitudinal focus group methodology to measure the value and impact of public libraries. In Conference Proceedings. , (484-492
Introduction There is a general acceptance that public libraries contribute to ‘community’, and at least have the potential to have a very positive impact on civil society. (V...

UK public library roles and value: a focus group analysis

Journal Article
Appleton, L., Hall, H., Duff, A., & Raeside, R. (2018)
UK public library roles and value: a focus group analysis. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 50(3), (275-283). ISSN 0961-0006
Findings from a study of the advantages and disadvantages accrued by individuals from their public library use, and the impact of this on citizenship at individual and communi...

'The internet is just another crowded theatre' - Interview on Radio Sputnik World Service

Exhibition / Performance
Duff, A. 'The internet is just another crowded theatre' - Interview on Radio Sputnik World Service. [Radio]. Exhibited at Moscow. 13 July 2017. (Unpublished)

)
Duff, A. 'The internet is just another crowded theatre' - Interview on Radio Sputnik World Service. [Radio]. Exhibited at Moscow. 13 July 2017. (Unpublished
Professor Alistair Duff was interviewed on Radio Sputnik [formerly Radio Moscow] World Service, on the topic of extremist content on social networks. A shortened version of t...

Demonstrating the impact of the public library on citizenship development in the UK: focus group findings

Presentation / Conference
Appleton, L., Duff, A., Hall, H. & Raeside, R. (2017, June)
Demonstrating the impact of the public library on citizenship development in the UK: focus group findings. Paper presented at i3: information: interactions and impact, Aberdeen, Scotland
Introduction This paper presents the findings of a research project that seeks to understand how public libraries operate and demonstrate value and social impact. The research...

Undermining our data: implications for trust in the population census

Presentation / Conference
Killick, L., Duff, A. S., Deakin, M. & Hall, H. (2017, June)
Undermining our data: implications for trust in the population census. Paper presented at Information: interactions and impact (i3), Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
This paper draws on empirical work conducted as part of a multi-method research study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It is concerned with public p...

The Fellowship of the Net

Journal Article
Duff, A. S. (2017)
The Fellowship of the Net. International Journal of Public Theology, 11(2), 188-210. https://doi.org/10.1163/15697320-12341482
The article revisits the tradition of religious socialism as a potential resource for the information age. It begins with a detailed exposition and defence of the ideas of net...

Contra Bentham: ethical information policy in the PanopticEon

Journal Article
Duff, A. S., & Bentham, C. (2017)
Contra Bentham: ethical information policy in the PanopticEon. Journal of Information Ethics, 26(1), 93-111
The article addresses the problem of surveillance within the framework of ethical information policy. Jeremy Bentham’s plan for a panoptic penitentiary is subjected to forensi...

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