Dr Ben Williamson

Chancellors Fellow


I am a Chancellor's Fellow at the Centre for Research in Digital Education and the Edinburgh Futures Institute, examining the ways educational futures are made and contested at the intersections of digital technologies, science, finance and data with policy and governance.

My current research focuses on educational futures-making across a number of domains of socio-digital and and data-intensive practice:

  • The mobilization of biological sciences and socio-digital infrastructures of biometrics, neurotechnologies and bioinformatics as sources of educational knowledge production, policy influence, and practice intervention
  • Emerging financial practices of speculative investment and market intelligence analysis in education, and how prospective investments and valuations are intended to materialize socio-digital imaginaries in technical development
  • The construction of large-scale data infrastructures by state agencies, global technology corporations and 'edtech' companies to measure performance in schools and universities as a way of shaping and governing the future of education  

I previously published Big Data in Education: The digital future of learning, policy, and practice, and am an editor of the journal Learning, Media and Technology. I maintain the research blog Code Acts in Education, and on Twitter I am @BenPatrickWill. 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I welcome enquiries about PhD supervision in the following areas:

Critical social scientific studies of data or metrics in education policy and governance

Education policy studies on digital technologies and/or technology companies

New data-centred sciences in education (e.g. digital psychometrics, biometrics, neuroscience, genetics)

View all 68 publications on Research Explorer