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James Stewart

Senior Research Fellow, (ISSTI); Lecturer in Science Technology and Innovation, School of Social and Political Studies

University of Edinburgh

Research Interests and Work

My interests lie in understanding the development of new technologies and the way that they are shaped, appropriated and become part of social relations and social institutions. This includes processes of adoption and diffusion, non-adoption and resistance, the way products and serices are invented and brought to market, the visions that drive firms and governments, and how these are turned into strategies and technology.

I have worked on many projects,including the adoption of Web2.0 in scientific research, the development of standards for mobile technologies, particularly regarding China, the future of wireless and mobile devices, and processes and implications of ubiquitous ICTs. Recently I have worked on future concepts of branding, location based technologies, place, space and non-place.

I also have an interest in the social implications of divisions in access and use of ICT on national and international level - the so called digital divide. I Worked at the European Commission (IPTS, JRC) from 2010-2013 in the ITs for Social Inclusion Unit running policy research projects on how policy can support the use of ICTs to facilitate social inclusion. Thee covered ICTs for support of carers for the elderly, digital games for social inclusion, and new forms of paid and unpaid work mediated by online exchanges.


I currently each Marketing Technical Projects to Engineering undergraduates, and I am preparing courses on the use of digital research. In the past I have convened a Masters course called Social Shaping of Information and Communiations Technologies (SSICT) and an Honours and Masters course, Internet and Society for Sociology and other subject areas.

More details on the ISSTI home page

Research Collaborations

Over the years I have conducted research in collaboration with the Edinburgh College of Art, Phillips, Siemens, the JRC, Telenor, The Universities of Twente, Utrecht, Maastricht, Warwick, Napier, Bremen, Bradford, Bremahaven, Leeds, Trento, Manchester, Padua, Lisbon, York, Oslo, DCU, TUD (Copenhagen), Namur, UCL, NTNU (Trondheim), EPFL (Lausanne), Jaen, Berlin TU, Gent, Washington, Tsinghua, Chinese Academy of Sciences, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy & Research, INCRA, Academy of Sciences (Budapest) Carers Europe, TPG (TNT), TUHH, Mobicom, FTW, Schott, Ericsson, Alcatel, RWE Energy, and ETSI, European Network of Living Labs, and many others.

I have received funding from the European Commission (DG CNECT and DG RTD), ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC, RCUK, Intelligent Energy Europe, Research Innovation Network (RIN), etc.


I have been a student research supervisor for PhD, MSc and Honours projects. This includes 5 PhDs, 2 M.Res, many MSc on topics including mobile phone use for business in Tanzania, the culture of Facebook to use, Chinese technology policy, community in World of Warcraft, open source development communities, creative commons in practice, blogosphere culture in Chile, digital divide in China, social media in Greek protest politics, mobile phone and IT use by homeless people, Virtual Learning Environments, Twitter in political protest, online mathematics proof, search engines in China, citizen participation in planning, mobile phones in rural communities, user involvement in cancer website design, etc. I am interested in supervising

I have been an external examiner at the University of Manchester Business School.

Other Stuff

I am a Member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IET), and the European Association for Social Studies of Technology (EASST)

Published by James Stewart, 12 / 4 / 1996