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Centre enables data-driven research to thrive

The University of Edinburgh has launched a research centre to support data-led research innovation in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Edinburgh Centre for Data, Culture & Society (CDCS) will back the vital contributions researchers make to contemporary cultural debates and social issues and the study and understanding of the past.

It will also facilitate data-led partnerships between academics and cultural organisations, such as the National Library of Scotland and National Galleries of Scotland, as well as building novel research projects across the University of Edinburgh’s museum and library collections.

The Centre will also provide a platform for collaboration between academics and industry.

Knowledge exchange
Research seminars, hackathons, community talks and debates exploring digital issues are among the planned events. The Centre will provide training programmes, research clinics and a bursary scheme.

It will support researchers as they develop data and computational skills and assist those wishing to use technologies more commonly associated with the sciences.

Professor Melissa Terras, the Centre’s Director, said “The University, with its expertise in Informatics and computational sciences, and with the Edinburgh City Region Deal investing in data science, is uniquely placed to help those who wish to use computation to study the past, or contemporary society, extending computational activities into subject areas which are often presumed to be only analogue.”

Research clusters
The Centre aims to showcase, bring together, and synthesise existing research across the College through a series of research clusters with defined activities, outputs, and chances to network. The centre’s first research cluster, involving 35 Edinburgh scholars, focuses on new media and communications.

Led by Dr Kate Wright, its work will focus on digital design, journalism, film and documentary-making, political communication and social media.

Professor Terras also commented: “We will help our research community stay at the forefront of developments in data-driven research, and create an environment where it can grow and thrive in order to help the university understand and build a better society.”

We will help our research community stay at the forefront of developments in data-driven research, and create an environment where it can grow and thrive in order to help the university understand and build a better society