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Theory and practice towards a fairer world using research and technology

I went to a film screening and discussion last week about Mark Duggan’s shooting by the police, and the conditions surrounding him and his family Amponsah (2016). Hard Stop.. The event was one of the best I’ve been to. The documentary itself was authentic, engaging, and honest, showing a slice of life in London in a similar fashion to an episode of The Wire. The discussion after was a real eye-opener for me: many speakers across two panels with so much to share and say. At the same time, I was rolling an idea around for this blogpost for Open Data Manchester’s Echo Chambers and Post-Fact Politics event.

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I’m always struck in technical meetings how quickly people dream up imaginary people. People with very specific needs that they didn’t know they had. A recent meeting I was in suggested that if streetlights and hospital shift patterns were connected to the Internet of Things, we could potentially make sure that nurses can get home safely at given times, by increasing lighting at the end of shifts. Or that by comparing bus times with air pollution data, we can start to think about where buses are idling and reduce respiratory disease. But of course, they’re just possibilities! We don’t know yet! Think of the potential! Article length: 1131 words.
Approx. 6 minute read.

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