Fionagh Thomson

(MENAFN- The Conversation) Senior Research Fellow (visual ethnographer), Durham University Profile Articles Activity

I am a visual ethnographer, ecologist, human geographer and ethicist - based in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy (Durham Uni). I am interested in how knowledge and ideas are created within our everyday world – focusing on what we do rather than what we think we do. I work with video, camera, paper and conversation.
Current research interests: Responsible & Sustainable space science/satellite design (dark skies, dark matter, the darker side of satellites); viable over mythical sources of renewable energy; extension of human senses through technologies, and the mythical rise of robots/AI over humans.

I am a nomadic researcher travelling across disciplines. my current home is astrophysics and space science. My background includes: visual anthropology, human geography, environmental ethics (land rights) and educational philosophy. Fieldwork locations include the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, the islands of the Scottish Hebrides, the consulting spaces of NHS hospitals/patients' homes and mountaintop astronomical observatories in the Spanish Canary Islands.

Previous projects include the conflict between sufficiency and safety in blood manufacturing, the relationship between creative arts and wellbeing in later life, the role of IT within health professional-patient interactions during the consultation, and the social and ethical implications of a European Nanomedicine (lab-on-a-chip) project.

  • –present Ethnographer, Visiting Research Fellow (University of Notre Dame, London), Durham University
  • 2008
    UCL, PhD
  • 2000
    Cambridge University, MPhil (Research methods & environmental philosophy)
  • 1996
    University of Edinburgh, MSc Natural Resource Management (forestry)

The Conversation


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