Dr Ben Williamson

Senior Lecturer in Digital Education


I am a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Research in Digital Education and the Edinburgh Futures Institute. My current research focuses on educational futures-making across a number of domains of digital and data-intensive practice:

  • The mobilization of biological sciences and infrastructures of biometrics, neurotechnologies and bioinformatics as sources of educational knowledge production, policy influence, and practice intervention
  • Emerging financial practices of investment and market intelligence analysis in education, and how prospective investments and valuations are intended to materialize educational 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  

Current research projects have been funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council. 

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